CU Aerospace (CUA) proposes further development of the Dynamically Leveraged Automated (N) Multibody Trajectory Optimization (DyLAN) tool, which solves impulsive and low-thrust global optimization problems in multibody regimes, and can do so in an automated fashion. NASA and commercial entities are in need of advanced methods that allow for rapid analysis of complex optimal trajectory problems, so that the most informed decisions with regard to mission design can be made at an early stage in the planning process. This includes having a solver that can intelligently search the large problem space, do so quickly, and with a great enough level of fidelity to ensure that the trajectory can be continued to a flight fidelity level. Advanced optimization tools for the low-thrust multibody problem do not currently exist, yet this regime is seen in numerous mission designs. In Phase I, CUA demonstrated that the solution approach taken by DyLAN produces significant results, finding unintuitive optimal solutions rapidly and without the need for the user’s oversight. During Phase II, CUA will improve the global and local optimization capabilities of DyLAN, so that a wider breadth of problems can be solved and brought to higher physics fidelity. These internal improvements will complement DyLAN’s proposed ability to harness NASA’s open source GMAT and CSALT tools for additional capabilities; including the ability for export into GMAT. These features will provide a mission analysts with the capability to extend or continue any interplanetary solution with ease into a multibody domain. The parallel computing capabilities of DyLAN will be further extended, so that larger search spaces and more difficult problems can be solved quickly. DyLAN will also undergo both internal and external beta-testing; by industry and NASA. Phase I has proven the viability of the approach and the capacity for further improvement, with Phase II, a full scale software prototype will be delivered.
DyLAN addresses an existing preliminary mission design problem that currently requires a human-in-the-loop; extremely inefficient and mission limiting. DyLAN will meet NASA’s Technology Roadmap goals of advanced modeling and simulation tools that allow for expanded solution spaces enabling new design concepts while decreasing cost by using higher fidelity and computationally efficient simulations. DyLAN goes beyond these goals by connecting NASA software, EMTG and GMAT, into a highly productive design toolchain; multibody to interplanetary.
DyLAN’s early demonstration proves that commercial entities using DyLAN for multibody missions (libration, resonance transfer, departure/arrival) will possess a strong advantage over competition. Interest from Northrup Grumman, a.i. solutions, and KinetX reaffirm this position. DyLAN provides the only avenue for entities (commercial/academia) without world experts to design such missions.