Asteroid Flyby Cycler Trajectory Design Using Deep Neural Networks

Naoya Ozaki, Kanta Yanagida, Takuya Chikazawa, Nishanth Pushparaj, Naoya Takeishi, Ryuki Hyodo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Asteroid exploration has been attracting more attention in recent years. Nevertheless, we have just visited tens of asteroids, whereas we have discovered more than 1 million bodies. As our current observation and knowledge should be biased, it is essential to explore multiple asteroids directly to better understand the remains of planetary building materials. One of the mission design solutions is utilizing asteroid flyby cycler trajectories with multiple Earth gravity assists. An asteroid flyby cycler trajectory design problem is a subclass of global trajectory optimization problems with multiple flybys, involving a trajectory optimization problem for a given flyby sequence and a combinatorial optimization problem to decide the sequence of the flybys. As the number of flyby bodies grows, the computation time of this optimization problem expands maliciously. This paper presents a new method to design asteroid flyby cycler trajectories utilizing a surrogate model constructed by deep neural networks approximating trajectory optimization results. Because one of the bottlenecks of machine learning approaches is the heavy computation time to generate massive trajectory databases, we propose an efficient database generation strategy by introducing pseudo-asteroids satisfying the Karush–Kuhn–Tucker conditions. The numerical result applied to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s DESTINY mission shows that the proposed method is practically applicable to space mission design and can significantly reduce the computational time for searching asteroid flyby sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1511
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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