This paper investigates a systematic mission design of robust and optimal orbital transfer maneuvers for a sample return mission from an asteroid. In this study, an interplanetary space flight mission design is established to obtain the minimum [Greek Letter Delta]V required for a rendezvous and sample return mission from an asteroid. Given the initial (observed) conditions of an asteroid, a (robust) genetic algorithm is implemented to determine the optimal choice of [Greek Letter Delta]V required for the rendezvous. Robustness of the optimum solution is demonstrated through incorporated bounded-uncertainties in the outbound [Greek Letter Delta]V maneuver via genetic fitness function. The improved algorithm results in a solution with improved robustness and reduced sensitivity to propulsive errors in the outbound maneuver. This is achieved over a solution optimized solely on [Greek Letter Delta]V, while keeping the increase in [Greek Letter Delta]V to a minimum, as desired. Outcomes of the analysis provide significant results in terms of improved robustness in asteroid rendezvous missions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kamran_turkoglu/11/