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I'm trying to create an optimize a trajectory to Mars for a number of low thrust high specific impulse engines.

I am having trouble with the initial set up.

I created a LEO exit spiral using a tutorial from the AGI.com website and used the Lambert solver to set up the main trajectory. I assumed that the propagate segment used for the exit maneuver could be up to a specific altitude where the spiral would meet the Lambert trajectory.

The main problem I am having is setting up SNOPT for each of these maneuvers to optimize both for minimum fuel burn and, if possible, shortest travel time.

The software I am using for this is STK Astrogator. I am looking for help with the setup (I missed this in the orginal question.)

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    $\begingroup$ Low thrust, minimum fuel and shortest flight all stand in opposition to each other. Minimum fuel would require multiple short burns near perigee to raise apogee and utilize all Oberth benefits, but the time grows exponentially the more high-eccentricity orbits you make before escape; also the exit maneuver near Earth will contribute lion share of transfer trajectory velocity, which would get much costlier when performed on outskirts of Earth's SOI or even outside. If you want short flight, spiral is the way to go, but you're using much, much more fuel. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Jun 2 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ the idea would be different set ups so one overall trajectory including the exit spiral for minimum fuel burn for the engine type. then a separate one for minimum time. the idea is to find out whether a minimum fuel burn mission would still be feasible based on the time it would take to get to mars. or whether a shorter mission would still be able to support a reasonable payload. its more of a software setup problem with astrogator. $\endgroup$ Jun 2 at 10:58

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