Initial guess generation strategies for spaceplane trajectory optimisation

Federico Toso, Christie Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contributionpeer-review

89 Downloads (Pure)


Trajectory optimisation for spaceplanes is a highly complex problem due to the nonlinearity of the dynamics, long integration times, high energy environment and a broad spectrum of different flight conditions from sea level to space. In this paper, strategies are analysed for the fast and autonomous generation of initial guesses for a gradient-based solver for the ascent trajectory of a multi-stage reusable spaceplane launch vehicle. Different multi-start strategies are used to generate an archive of solutions with the performances analysed for computational run time, convergence rate and violation level of the constraints. A focus is also put on methods that reduce the dependency on the expertise of the user to produce a problem-specific first guess. Different approaches are analysed that introduce a weighting of the constraints relative to the objective function, add low levels of white noise, and conduct an initial sorting using larger integration time steps. A promising compromise between convergence rate, run time and automation is achieved with the introduction of low level white noise to unconverged solutions from a population of first guess solutions created using Latin Hypercube Sampling.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Jan 2017
EventInternational Symposium on Space Technology and Science - Matsuyama, Japan
Duration: 3 Jun 20179 Jun 2017
Conference number: 31


  • first guess
  • trajectory optimisation
  • spaceplane
  • access to space


Dive into the research topics of 'Initial guess generation strategies for spaceplane trajectory optimisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this