Fuel-minimal rendezvous missions with a large population of temporarily captured orbiters
Monique Chyba



Control theory pertains with achieving a prescribed goal for systems whose behavior can be influenced by directly controlling some inputs. Moreover, in most cases we wish to govern the system in an efficient way. This is known as optimal control. Due to the nature of this definition, optimal control is to be found everywhere including for instance exploring the ocean with autonomous underwater vehicles as well as understanding and developing medical protocols or morphogenesis. A main objective of this presentation is to use tools from optimal control theory to assess the feasibility of space missions to a new population of near Earth asteroids which temporarily orbit Earth, called temporarily captured orbiter. Rendezvous missions to a large random sample from a database of over 16,000 simulated temporarily captured orbiters have been designed using an indirect method based on the maximum principle. The main contribution of this work present here is to overcome the difficulty in initializing the algorithm with the construction of the so-called cloud of extremals.