“Fuel-minimal rendezvous missions with a large population of temporarily captured orbiters”

Monday, July 10th 2017, 10:00h.,
2nd Central Meeting Room at DeustoTech

Monique Chyba

University of Hawaii, Manoa, Hawaii, USA

In the continued pursuit of knowledge regarding the origins of our solar system, scientists have been looking toward the minor bodies — asteroids and comets. These small yet abundant objects are distributed throughout the solar system and are pristine representatives of the history of our planet and the universe. Moreover, it has been recently suggested that missions to near Earth asteroids could be the key stepping stones for interplanetary human flight. The opportunity for research is huge, and potentially affordable, when considering those near Earth asteroids that come close to home. A main objective of this presentation is to use tools from optimal control theory to assess the feasibility of space missions to a new population of near Earth asteroids which temporarily orbit Earth, called temporarily captured orbiter. Rendezvous missions to a large random sample from a database of over 16,000 simulated temporarily captured orbiters have been designed using an indirect method based on the maximum principle. The main contribution of this work present here is to overcome the difficulty in initializing the algorithm with the construction of the so-called cloud of extremals.