Title: Optimal trajectory design and analysis for soft landing on the moon from lunar parking orbits

Authors: Santosh Kumar Choudhary; Kaushik Raj; Venkatesan Muthukumar

Addresses: Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, 576104, India ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA

Abstract: This article studies the optimal control solution of the Moon-Lander problem. The main purpose of this article is to investigate the optimal strategy for trajectory design to ensure the soft landing of the lander from the Lunar parking orbit to the lunar surface with minimum consumption of fuel. The trajectory design of lunar lander is studied via two cases by formulating the optimal control problems, where specific requirements of this soft landing problem are all incorporated in the problem formulation. To analyse the proposed optimal strategies for a soft landing the paper briefly illustrates the numerical simulation results and it shows that the required velocity for the soft landing is achieved with minimum fuel consumption. The investigated computational methods for the optimal solutions of the Moon-Lander problem in both two cases are conceptually simple and efficient.

Keywords: Moon-Lander; optimal control; lunar parking orbit; soft landing; Pontryagin's principle; two-point boundary value problem; bound constrained optimisation technique.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2019.105056

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2019 Vol.5 No.4, pp.321 - 338

Received: 16 Apr 2019
Accepted: 07 Jul 2019

Published online: 07 Feb 2020 *

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