Evolutionary algorithms to optimize low-thrust trajectory design in spacecraft orbital precession mission
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In space environment, perturbations make the spacecraft lose its predefined orbit in space. One of these undesirable changes is the in-plane rotation of space orbit, denominated as orbital precession. To overcome this problem, one option is to correct the orbit direction by employing low-thrust trajectories. However, in addition to the orbital perturbation acting on the spacecraft, a number of parameters related to the spacecraft and its propulsion system must be optimized. This article lays out the trajectory optimization of orbital precession missions using Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs). In this research, the dynamics of spacecraft in the presence of orbital perturbation is modeled. The optimization approach is employed based on the parametrization of the problem according to the space mission. Numerous space mission cases have been studied in low and middle Earth orbits, where various types of orbital perturbations are acted on spacecraft. Consequently, several EAs are employed to solve the optimization problem. Results demonstrate the practicality of different EAs, along with comparing their convergence rates. With a unique trajectory model, EAs prove to be an efficient, reliable and versatile optimization solution, capable of being implemented in conceptual and preliminary design of spacecraft for orbital precession missions.