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5th Global Trajectory Optimization Competition

Team 1 Solution File

TEAM MEMBERS Dr. Juan S. Senent, Odyssey Space Research (Houston, Texas, USA) Jacob Williams, ERC, Incorporated. Engineering and Science Contract Group (Houston, Texas, USA) Shaun M. Stewart, ERC, Incorporated. Engineering and Science Contract Group (Houston, Texas, USA) Gregory P. Johnson, The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas, USA) Dr. Cesar Ocampo, The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas, USA)

DESCRIPTION OF THE METHOD USED Step 1: The Search Algorithm A tree-based search algorithm based on a simplified version of the A* search algorithm is used to find impulsive solutions to the problem. Solutions generated contain an Earth departure, and segments representing asteroid rendezvous and intercepts. Given an initial epoch, the search algorithm will attempt to rendezvous or intercept all candidate asteroids at all allowed times of flight. From the obtained solutions, only those that closely follow a prescribed performance profile for mass and time will be selected. This performance profile depends on the number of asteroids targeted in the search. Additionally, solutions are only selected if the maneuvers are separated in time by a padding based on the maneuver magnitude and rocket equation. Each selected solution is then refined at different levels k of the sequence. This refinement process consists of finding solutions that are identical at the k-1 level but vary on the k level by either visiting a different asteroid, or doing so with a different time of flight. If in the process of refining a parent (k-1) solution, a better child (k) solution is found, then that child solution is incorporated into the search pool. Once a solution is processed, it is removed from the search pool. The search is complete when the pool is empty. The search algorithm was run for many epochs on computing clusters at NASA Johnson Space Center and The University of Texas, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). The best impulsive solutions generated were then used as starting points for finite burn conversion and optimization. Step 2: The Finite Burn Conversion and Optimization The Copernicus trajectory design and optimization tool was used to convert the impulsive solution from the search process to a low-thrust finite burn solution. As shown in Figure 1, each phase of the mission, from the ith asteroid (or Earth) to the jth asteroid, was divided into 6 segments, following a coast-thrust-coast-thrust-coast-thrust pattern. Propagation of the coast segments was done using the Gooding Kepler propagation method, and finite burn segments were integrated using the DLSODE numerical integration package. If the ith asteroid is a rendezvous, the first coast represents a waiting period/coast with the asteroid. The durations of each segment are optimized. The first four segments are propagated forward from the ith asteroid, and the last two segments are propagated backwards from the jth asteroid. State, time, and mass continuity constraints are imposed at the interface of the forward and backward propagated segments. The positions at both asteroids are fixed, and if it is an intercept, the velocity vector is free and constrained to be equal to the final velocity vector of the previous phase. If the jth asteroid is an intercept, an additional relative velocity inequality constraint is imposed. The mass at both the ith and jth asteroids are free, and constrained so that the initial mass of the ith phase is equal to the final mass of the (i-1)th phase.
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The finite burn control law used was the single-axis rotation (SAR) control law from Copernicus. In this model, a thrust vector is rotated about a rotation axis. For this problem, the rotation axis was fixed to be along the angular momentum vector of the trajectory (note that this axis moves with the spacecraft and changes as the burn progresses). The initial thrust vector direction was optimized (using the v direction from the impulsive search as an initial guess). The rate of change of the thrust vector about the rotation axis was also an optimization variable. Thus, for each finite burn segment, three optimized parameters determine the thrust pointing history for that segment. The thrust magnitude was fixed at the maximum of 0.3 Newtons for all finite burn arcs. The optimization problem was solved (which included all mission phases) in Copernicus, using SNOPT. The problem contained 579 optimization variables and 404 constraints. First, the objective function was to maximize the final spacecraft mass, with the total time of flight constrained. After this converged, the objective function was changed to minimize the total mission time, with the final minimum mass constraint imposed. Finally, to drive the constraint violations as low as possible, the problem was resolved with no objective function and very tight tolerances on the remaining constraints.

Figure 1: Mission Phase from Asteroid I to Asteroid J.

SUMMARY OF THE BEST SOLUTION FOUND Included in this section is an overview of the solution, which departs from Earth on July 5, 2020, continuing on to rendezvous and intercept 15 asteroids in 5394 days after the initial departure. The trajectory is broken into phases which begin at the Earth or previous asteroid and terminate after flyby or rendezvous with the subsequent asteroid. Each phase can include multiple finite burn and coast arcs (note that some of the arcs can have zero duration due to the optimization process, as explained in the previous section). The durations for each individual finite burn arc are provided. The trajectory results in a final spacecraft mass of 500 kg. A separately attached file contains the spacecraft position, velocity, mass, and thrust history of the solution provided in one-day increments (except at the interface between phases, since the phase durations are not integer numbers of days) . Although the solution ASCII file shows all times moving forward, due to the fact that some segments are integrated backward, the initial step also may not be a full day increment. The first state in the file is at the Earth just after the departure V-infinity. The thrust model contains a smoothly-varying thrust vector direction for each finite burn segment. Thus, the thrust direction is not constant between the one-day data points in the solution file. Below are tables describing the details of the solution, as requested in the problem statement.

GTOC5 Names of the visited asteroids and Visit Type: 1 (2007 UN12) [Rendezvous] 2 (2001 GP2) [Rendezvous] 3 (2001 GP2) [Intercept] 4 (2007 UN12) [Intercept] 5 (1991 VG) [Rendezvous] 6 (1991 VG) [Intercept] 7 (2008 EA9) [Rendezvous] 8 (2008 EA9) [Intercept] 9 (2008 EL68) [Rendezvous] 10 (2008 EL68) [Intercept] 11 (2006 UQ216) [Rendezvous] 12 (2006 UQ216) [Intercept] 13 (2009 BD) [Rendezvous] 14 (2009 BD) [Intercept] 15 (2006 RH120) [Rendezvous] 16 (2006 RH120) [Intercept] 17 (2008 UA202) [Rendezvous] 18 (2008 UA202) [Intercept] 19 (2008 UD95) [Rendezvous] 20 (2008 UD95) [Intercept] 21 (2007 CS5) [Rendezvous] 22 (2007 CS5) [Intercept] 23 (2003 LN6) [Rendezvous] 24 (2003 LN6) [Intercept] 25 (2006 FH36) [Rendezvous] 26 (2006 FH36) [Intercept] 27 (2010 LG61) [Rendezvous] 28 (2010 LG61) [Intercept] 29 (2002 JR100) [Rendezvous] 30 (2002 JR100) [Intercept] Launch Date (MJD): MJD = 59035.15866036806

Launch V-infinity (km/s): V-infinity vector at Earth on the launch date: [0.2280480279606559, 1.812918737500153, 0.108445890003707] km/s

Launch V-infinity Magnitude (km/s): V-infinity magnitude at Earth departure: 1.8304209250592 km/s

Date and Spacecraft Mass at Each Asteroid Rendezvous or Flyby: (spacecraft mass reported is the mass BEFORE (m-) and AFTER (m+) the drop off of either the science mass or the penetrator mass):
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. MJD = 59284.968927. MJD = 59572.452325. MJD = 59708.908486. MJD = 60017.748365. MJD = 60267.759457. MJD = 60373.573985. MJD = 60831.771859. MJD = 60928.047708. MJD = 61306.381289. MJD = 61395.546319. MJD = 61744.626326. MJD = 61856.927112. MJD = 62237.997062. MJD = 62316.298187. MJD = 62476.785517. MJD = 62567.401346. MJD = 62730.063256. MJD = 62799.489007. MJD = 63113.393527. MJD = 63181.306236. MJD = 63486.943773. MJD = 63531.237285. MJD = 63708.648109. MJD = 63759.286340. MJD = 63981.536635. MJD = 64026.560179. MJD = 64227.152359. MJD = 64253.567910. MJD = 64410.486986. MJD = 64429.321514. SC MASS (m-) = 3979.005924, SC MASS (m+) = 3939.005924 SC MASS (m-) = 3769.184201, SC MASS (m+) = 3729.184201 SC MASS (m-) = 3655.167703, SC MASS (m+) = 3654.167703 SC MASS (m-) = 3529.673747, SC MASS (m+) = 3528.673747 SC MASS (m-) = 3337.110684, SC MASS (m+) = 3297.110684 SC MASS (m-) = 3207.712165, SC MASS (m+) = 3206.712165 SC MASS (m-) = 2945.439175, SC MASS (m+) = 2905.439175 SC MASS (m-) = 2829.169364, SC MASS (m+) = 2828.169364 SC MASS (m-) = 2588.275495, SC MASS (m+) = 2548.275495 SC MASS (m-) = 2484.321266, SC MASS (m+) = 2483.321266 SC MASS (m-) = 2374.320668, SC MASS (m+) = 2334.320668 SC MASS (m-) = 2291.671436, SC MASS (m+) = 2290.671436 SC MASS (m-) = 2109.438232, SC MASS (m+) = 2069.438232 SC MASS (m-) = 2018.329010, SC MASS (m+) = 2017.329010 SC MASS (m-) = 1943.487995, SC MASS (m+) = 1903.487995 SC MASS (m-) = 1868.321625, SC MASS (m+) = 1867.321625 SC MASS (m-) = 1807.705784, SC MASS (m+) = 1767.705784 SC MASS (m-) = 1729.087966, SC MASS (m+) = 1728.087966 SC MASS (m-) = 1571.560829, SC MASS (m+) = 1531.560829 SC MASS (m-) = 1500.602597, SC MASS (m+) = 1499.602597 SC MASS (m-) = 1249.277961, SC MASS (m+) = 1209.277961 SC MASS (m-) = 1175.868862, SC MASS (m+) = 1174.868862 SC MASS (m-) = 1078.807702, SC MASS (m+) = 1038.807702 SC MASS (m-) = 1018.529103, SC MASS (m+) = 1017.529120 SC MASS (m-) = 958.052941, SC MASS (m+) = 918.052941 SC MASS (m-) = 899.233667, SC MASS (m+) = 898.233667 SC MASS (m-) = 744.938194, SC MASS (m+) = 704.938194 SC MASS (m-) = 684.008486, SC MASS (m+) = 683.008486 SC MASS (m-) = 556.802641, SC MASS (m+) = 516.802641 SC MASS (m-) = 501.000000, SC MASS (m+) = 500.000000

Date and Spacecraft Mass at the Final Rendezvous as asked for in the Problem Description (note that this is not the end of the mission) : 29. MJD = 64410.486986. SC MASS (m-) = 556.802641, SC MASS (m+) = 516.802641 Date and Spacecraft Mass of Final Asteroid Visit (FLYBY of 2002 JR100): 30. MJD = 64429.321514. SC MASS (m-) = 501.000000, SC MASS (m+) = 500.000000

Thrust Durations Per Phase (days): Note that each phase has three thrust arcs (DT1, DT2, and DT3), but some thrust arcs may have zero duration due to the optimization process, as explained above. PHASE 1: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 2: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 3: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 4: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 5: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 6: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 7: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 8: o DT1 = 0.000000 5.520256 18.308627 16.414142 59.842510 116.495918 21.962502 0.000000 62.048364 65.085443 76.174628 0.000000 114.560651 74.169986 28.698983 22.888293 8.646581 69.935032 127.317973 47.072883 122.161547 22.462619
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o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 9: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 10: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 11: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 12: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 13: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 14: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 15: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 16: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 17: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 18: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 19: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 =

3.196519 60.909305 105.704703 41.905736 124.676044 20.326601 0.000000 51.868525 79.484387 10.297473 33.936974 9.544052 0.000000 38.864060 25.992863 12.650456 167.061612 15.449726 0.000000 42.560721 65.407176 0.000000 18.404513 7.502091 0.000000 32.412755 14.741652 25.511044 27.413008 10.299928 0.000000 33.532414 33.903103 47.977819 95.781907
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PHASE 20: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 21: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 22: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 23: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 24: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 25: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 26: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 27: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 28: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 29: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 = PHASE 30: o DT1 = o DT2 = o DT3 =

6.852131 0.000000 28.286358 36.103759 135.076640 112.945305 10.211653 0.000000 27.708642 88.115135 16.011315 4.905746 4.136477 0.000000 18.880320 18.066068 24.318437 25.122681 0.000000 2.865503 17.813220 58.181467 54.156768 61.656561 5.157659 1.280235 17.317931 18.605514 28.563584 96.078188 3.470171 1.665394 12.800890

Total Flight Time Tau (Days): FLIGHT TIME = 5394.16285338689 DAYS.

Value of the Performance Index J: J = 15.0

Value of the Final Spacecraft Mass (kg): SC FINAL MASS = 500.000 KG.

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VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE TRAJECTORY

Plots of the solution are shown on the following pages. In these plots, the cyan arcs are coast arcs, and the red arcs are thrust arcs. The white arcs are the Earth and asteroid orbits. Segment markers (S1, S2, etc.) indicate the start and end of thrust and coast arcs (there are a total of 180 segments in the mission, associated with 30 phases).

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Solution Plot 1: Overview

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Solution Plot 2: Oblique View

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Solution Plot 3: Initial and Final Points

Earth Departure Final Intercept

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CONCLUSION

We would like to thank our colleagues at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Odyssey Space Research, ERC Inc., and UT-TACC, including Jerry Condon, J.D. Frick, Ernie Wu and Kenny Frame for all of their support and encouragement during this competition. We also thank the GTOC5 authors: Ilia Grigoriev, Julia Plotnikova, Maxim Zapletin, Elena Zapletin of Lomonosov Moscow State University, for proposing such a complex and fascinating problem. It has consumed most of our free time over the past month.

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