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GPU Accelerated Lambert Solution Methods for the Orbital Targeting Problem

Sam Wagner, Bong Wie
Asteroid Deflection Research Center, Aerospace Engineering Department, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Iowa State University, Tech. report AAS 11-263, 2012

@article{wagner2012gpu,

   title={GPU ACCELERATED LAMBERT SOLUTION METHODS FOR THE ORBITAL TARGETING PROBLEM},

   author={Wagner, S. and Wie, B.},

   year={2012}

}

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Lamberts problem is concerned with the determination of an orbit that connects two position vectors within a specified time of flight. It must often be solved millions of times, especially when one is conducting global searches for possible gravity assist missions, which requires fast efficient solutions. The orbital targeting problem lends itself well to parallel processing, with each departure and arrival combinations being computationally separate. By using the parallel capabilities of modern Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) technology, it is possible to reduce the total run time of the search program by several orders of magnitude. Three methods, have been implemented on a GPU, with run times up to 1100 times faster, when compared to comparable serial FORTRAN verions, at a maximum of almost 20 million solutions per second. Two example missions, one to asteroid 99942 Apophis and a 200-year Earth to Mars search, have been conducted to evaluate the performance of each method.
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