Implicit Formulations of Bounded-Impulse Trajectory Models for Preliminary Interplanetary Low-Thrust Analysis
The bounded-impulse approach to low-thrust interplanetary trajectory optimization is widely used. In an effort to efficiently implement this approach using NASA’s OpenMDAO optimization software, the authors have implemented implicit formulations of the forward shooting/backwards-shooting methods commonly used in bounded-impulse models. These implicit approaches allow for vectorization of the underlying calculations which can significantly reduce runtime in interpreted languages. An implicit approach may be either converged by using an underlying nonlinear solver to converge the state propagation, or as a constraint in an optimizer-driven multiple-shooting approach. Significant computational efficiency gains are realized through the utilization of the modular approach to unified derivatives. Further computational efficiency is achieved by capitalizing on the sparsity of the constraint Jacobian matrix. This work demonstrates that a vectorized multiple-shooting approach for propagating a state-time history is superior in terms of computational efficiency as the number of segments in the state-propagation is increased.