Project for 2 to 5 Students: Development of an interplanetary trajectory optimiser for high-thrust systems with distributed computing
The sustainable exploration of the Solar System can be significantly assuaged if high power propul- sion concepts allowing for both a rise in thrust and exhaust velocity – as currently under investigation at the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) – become available. Such systems could enable a paradigm shift from energy optimised trajectories like Hohmann’s transfer to time or payload optimised ones. A commonly referenced example are fusion propelled manned missions to Mars in which the transfer leg is abbreviated from a period of about eight months to one. The proposed project consists in the devel- opment of a tool to investigate these transfers further.
The key issue with the new propulsion paradigm are the involved celestial mechanics. Conventional assumptions and methods are no longer applicable. A simple approximation was recently developed at the IRS, however actual missions are more complex than the underlying case. If further effects are to be considered and the payload, travel time, fuel usage and mission flexibility to be optimised ac- cording to a mission cost function, the mathematical problem becomes analytically irresolvable. For example, a full development of the cinematic equations of a powered flight in a central force field yields an elliptical integral. Thus, numerical methods are called, among which Monte Carlo Simulations (MCS) appear to be the most promising approach with respect to the involved complex models. This is the subject of the proposed project.
MCS can be conducted in a distributed computation environment such as Constellation. In the frame of the project, an engine realising a mathematical model of the transfer – most likely a propagator – and key setting of the parameters to optimise have to be devised and implemented. The next step consists in exemplarily seeding random values and producing respective executables for a verification and validation run on the Constellation system (consisting of more than 30,000 host PCs connected via the internet forming a virtual super computer by using BOINC). In the midterm, the system shall be used in investigation activities at the IRS.
The proposed project is a module granted a total of 6 credits (LP).
Tasks: Familiarisation with the celestial mechanics of continuous propulsion Identification of models and requirements Development or integration of o a trajectory propagator for high-thrust propulsion and optimisation o distributed/parallel computing methods o GUI and graphical output of trajectory data Implementation, validation and verification Production of a documentation
Supervisors: PD Dr.-Ing. Georg Herdrich, IRS (email@example.com) Dipl.-Ing. Roland Antonius Gabrielli, IRS (firstname.lastname@example.org) Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Andreas Hornig, Constellation (email@example.com) Legal Restrictions: The Editor/s is/are principally not entitled to make any work and research results which he/she receives in process, accessible to third parties without the permission of the supervisor. Already achieved research results respect the Law on Copyright and related rights (Federal Law Gazette I / S. 1273, Copyright Protection Act of 09.09.1965). The Editor has the right to publish his/her findings unless no findings and benefits of the supervising institutions and companies have been incorporated. The rules issued by the branch of study for making the bachelor thesis and the exam regulations must be considered. Board of IRS: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Peter Röser (Managing Director) · Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefanos Fasoulas (Deputy Director) · Hon.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens Eickhoff · PD Dr.-Ing. Georg Herdrich · Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe · Hon.-Prof. Dr. Volker Liebig · Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr.-Ing. E. h. Ernst Messerschmid · Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Schlechtriem · PD Dr.-Ing. Ralf Srama · Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Wagner