Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Interplanetary Trajectory Optimization of Solar Sails
by Selvaraj, Sandhya, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 63; 10840194
Abstract (Summary)

The space industry is dominated by chemical propulsion systems that increase the cost of space travel. The dependence of these conventional methods of propulsion on propellants is overcome by using a solar sail that works on the principle of production of thrust based on the solar radiation pressure from the Sun. Solar sails, being a low thrust form of propulsion, need to be optimized to produce reasonable time trajectories. This paper presents the minimum time transfer for a solar sail interplanetary trajectory between Earth and Mars. Therefore, an optimization tool is introduced that can ensure minimum time trajectories for the sail. A hybrid optimization tool is developed between two direct methods, one that uses a global optimization technique and another one that uses a local optimization technique for the problem. Global optimization is carried out using Genetic Algorithm (GA), and local optimization is carried out using a Sparse Nonlinear Optimizer (SNOPT). The GA is run for 300 generations with a population size of 2000, and the SNOPT continues from the point where the GA is terminated using the results from the GA as the initial start point for the optimization. The steering angles of the sail are used as the control parameters. To minimize time, the problem is implemented as a parameter optimization method and the trajectory is discretized into multiple segments. The control angles are defined for each segment of the transfer. The transfer time was optimized to 331 days and on comparing the solution with earlier studies this method provides a better optimal solution.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shankar, Praveen
Commitee: Vaught, Kyle N., Yoozbashizadeh, Mahdi
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Engineering, Aerospace engineering
Keywords: Genetic algorithm, Optimization, Propulsion, Solar sails, Sparse nonlinear optimizer, Trajectory
Publication Number: 10840194
ISBN: 978-0-438-63367-4
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