Trajectory Design Combining Low-Thrust and Gravity Assist Manoeuvres

  • Massimiliano Vasile
  • Franco Bernelli-Zazzera
Part of the Applied Optimization book series (APOP, volume 79)


In this chapter a direct method based on a transcription by Finite Elements in Time has been used to design optimal trajectories aiming to reach a high inclined low-perihelion orbit about the Sun, exploiting a combination of gravity assist manoeuvres and low-thrust propulsion. A multiphase parametric approach has been used to introduce swing-bys among thrust and coast arcs. Gravity manoeuvres are at first modelled with a linked-conic approximation and then introduced through a full three-dimensional propagation including perturbations by the Sun. Finally a meaningful test case is presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach


trajectory optimisation and design direct methods finite elements in time gravity assist manoeuvres 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimiliano Vasile
    • 1
  • Franco Bernelli-Zazzera
    • 2
  1. 1.Politecnico di MilanoDipartimento di Ingegneria AerospazialeMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Politecnico di MilanoDipartimento di Ingegneria AerospazialeItaly

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