Nonlinear model predictive control strategy for low thrust spacecraft missions
Article first published online: 11 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Optimal Control Applications and Methods
Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 1–20, January/February 2014
How to Cite
Starek, J. A. and Kolmanovsky, I. V. (2014), Nonlinear model predictive control strategy for low thrust spacecraft missions. Optim. Control Appl. Meth., 35: 1–20. doi: 10.1002/oca.2049
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 11 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 5 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 26 JAN 2012
- model predictive control;
- trajectory optimization;
- low thrust
In this paper, two nonlinear model predictive control (MPC) strategies are applied to solve a low thrust interplanetary rendezvous problem. Each employs a unique, nonclassical parameterization of the control to adapt the nonlinear MPC approach to interplanetary orbital dynamics with low control authority. The approach is demonstrated numerically for a minimum-fuel Earth-to-Mars rendezvous maneuver, cast as a simplified coplanar circular orbit heliocentric transfer problem. The interplanetary transfer is accomplished by repeated solution of an optimal control problem over (i) a receding horizon with fixed number of control subintervals and (ii) a receding horizon with shrinking number of control subintervals, with a doubling strategy to maintain controllability. In both cases, the end time is left unconstrained. The performances of the nonlinear MPC strategies in terms of computation time, fuel consumption, and transfer time are compared for a constant thrust nuclear-electric propulsion system. For this example, the ability to withstand unmodeled effects and control allocation errors is verified. The second strategy, with shrinking number of control subintervals, is also shown to easily handle the more complicated bounded thrust nuclear-electric case, as well as a state-control-constrained solar-electric case. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.