Table of Contents
Journal of Artificial Evolution and Applications
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 248798, 13 pages
Research Article

Multidisciplinary Optimization of Aerocapture Maneuvers

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Milano, Via La Masa 34, 20156 Milano, Italy

Received 15 July 2007; Accepted 13 December 2007

Academic Editor: Alex Freitas

Copyright © 2008 Roberto Armellin and Michèle Lavagna. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A multidisciplinary-multiobjective optimization of aerocapture maneuvers is presented. The proposed approach allows a detailed analysis of the coupling among vehicle's shape, trajectory control, and thermal protection system design. A set of simplified models are developed to address this analysis and a multiobjective particle swarm optimizer is adopted to obtain the set of Pareto optimal solutions. In order to deal with an unconstrained multiobjective optimization, a two-point boundary value problem is formulated to implicitly satisfy the constraints on the atmospheric exit conditions. The trajectories of the most promising solutions are further optimized in a more refined dynamical system by solving an optimal control problem using a direct multiple shooting transcription method. Furthermore, a more complete vehicle control is considered. All the simulations presented consider an aerocapture at Mars with a polar orbit of 200 km of altitude as target orbit.