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University of Colorado, Boulder

Astrodynamics

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Autonomous Mission Design In Extreme Orbit Environments, David Allen Surovik Jan 2016

Autonomous Mission Design In Extreme Orbit Environments, David Allen Surovik

Aerospace Engineering Sciences Graduate Theses & Dissertations

An algorithm for autonomous online mission design at asteroids, comets, and small moons is developed to meet the novel challenges of their complex non-Keplerian orbit environments, which render traditional methods inapplicable. The core concept of abstract reachability analysis, in which a set of impulsive maneuvering options is mapped onto a space of high-level mission outcomes, is applied to enable goal-oriented decision-making with robustness to uncertainty. These nuanced analyses are efficiently computed by utilizing a heuristic-based adaptive sampling scheme that either maximizes an objective function for autonomous planning or resolves details of interest for preliminary analysis and general study. Illustrative examples ...