Master of Science
While rovers have traditionally been used to explore extraterrestrial bodies, they reduce the total area explored on the ground as they are limited by traversing the surface. For this reason vertical takeoff and landing crafts are explored. The major downfall of this type of craft for exploration is the extra fuel costs which must be carried into orbit. Reducing the fuel burn for a given maneuver allows the mission to either bring less propellant or to explore further. In either case, it is highly advantageous to reach destination points with the least amount of fuel. This paper looks at fuel-optimal trajectory planning for these reasons. A combination of optimal control theory with sequential quadratic programming and rapidly exploring random trees is proposed to achieve a robust, real time optimal trajectory.
Miller, Ian, "Fuel-Optimal Trajectory Planning of a VTOL Spacecraft Using SQP and RRT" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 2728.