Optimal spacecraft trajectories via higher order differential inclusions

V. Coverstone-Carroll, C. A. Hartman, A. L. Herman, D. B. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Higher order differential inclusion (HODI) is a new modeling technique that is applied to the modeling and optimization of spacecraft trajectories. The spacecraft equations-of-motion are mathematically manipulated into differential constraints that remove explicit appearance of the control variables (e.g., thrust direction and magnitude) from the problem statement. These constraints are transformed into a nonlinear programming problem by using higher order approximations of the derivatives of the states. In this work, the new method is first applied to a simple example to illustrate the technique and then to a three-dimensional, propellant-minimizing, Low-Earth-Orbit to Geosynchronous-Earth-Orbit spacecraft transfer problem. Comparisons are made with results obtained using an established modeling technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-395
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume102 I
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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