The computational research for this thesis was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Anil Rao in the Flight Dynamics and Optimization Laboratory at the University of Florida. The goal was to demonstrate the use of GPOPS-II, a general-purpose, MATLAB-based optimization software, to solve a scientifically-relevant optimal control problem. In the problem, four spacecraft use one maneuver each to transfer from a circular to elliptical orbit, forming a tetrahedron of certain volumetric constraints at the apogee of the terminal reference orbit. The total fuel consumed was minimized.
Please see the methods and results in my undergradaute thesis: Mallory Daly – Honors Thesis.
Through this research, I gained a conceptual understanding of astrodynamics and optimization methods, and I became proficient at coding and troubleshooting in MATLAB.