Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Several numerical methods for solving the nonlinear two-point boundary value problem associated with an optimum spacecraft trajectory are considered. A comparative evaluation of the methods is made to determine the relative merits of each method. Particular attention is given to such characteristics as the simplicity of formulation and implementation, the convergence sensitivity, the computing time required, and the computer storage requirements. The methods considered are the perturbation method, the quasilinearization method, and the gradient method. The numerical comparison is made by considering a two-dimensional, low-thrust, minimum-time, Earth-Mars trajectory.
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