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Computer Science Department Colloquium

Autonomous, Objective-Based Trajectory Planning for Asteroid Orbiters


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Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 11:30am


Conventional trajectory design techniques for space exploration
missions rely strongly upon Kepler's analytical description of orbital
motion about a single spherical body or upon special classes of
trajectories that are well-studied for the case of two such bodies.
However, these techniques do not generalize well to the case of
asteroids and comets -- small bodies of high scientific value -- due
to the strongly unintuitive and non-periodic orbital motion produced
by their irregular gravity fields. To overcome these limitations, an
alternate approach to trajectory design is explored that employs
techniques from robotics, non-linear control, and AI path planning.
Sampling-based planning is conducted via heuristic search of a control
domain that represents a set of single-impulse spacecraft maneuvers,
efficiently identifying actions that produce high performance in terms
of science objectives and safety constraints. Implementation of this
design scheme in a receding-horizon manner with a cost-to-go heuristic
ultimately produces low-frequency control sequences and resulting
complex motion that enable ambitious close-proximity science
operations while mitigating substantial estimation errors
characteristic of small body missions.

Speaker: David Surovik


After receiving his Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering fromTexas A&M University in 2011, David began his graduate studies inorbit mechanics under the guidance of Professor Dan Scheeres at theUniversity of Colorado, where he is now a PhD

Location : CBIM 22


Kostas Bekris

Event Type: Computer Science Department Colloquium



University of Colorado