Improving the Evolutionary Optimization of Interplanetary Low-Thrust Trajectories Using a Neural Network Surrogate Model

L.J. Stubbig, K.J. Cowan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific

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Building on recent advances in the fields of low-thrust trajectory optimization based on shaping methods, Artificial Neural Networks, and surrogate models in Evolutionary Algorithms, an investigation into a novel optimization routine is conducted. A flexible Python tool to evaluate linked trajectories in a two-body model based on hodographic shaping is implemented and used to develop a novel evolutionary optimization approach where a Genetic Algorithm is assisted in finding new candidate solutions by an online surrogate. The algorithm and different surrogate designs are experimentally investigated on two example problems based on the Dawn trajectory and the GTOC2 problem. Employing the surrogate yields new candidate solutions that improve the population’s fitness especially when the surrogate is used to approximate the shaping computation. Additionally, the use of a surrogate pretrained on a general data set of low-thrust transfers is tested and found to considerably improve the initial quality of the model, meaning that more good candidate solutions are found early on, accelerating the algorithm’s convergence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
EditorsRoby Wilson, Jinjun Shan, Kathleen Howell, Felix Hoots
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-87703-676-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event2020 Astrodynamics Specialist Conference - virtual event
Duration: 9 Aug 202112 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences


Conference2020 Astrodynamics Specialist Conference

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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