01 March 2017 We would like to announce the 9th Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition (GTOC9) organised this year by the Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) of the European Space Agency (ESA). You may refer to the GTOC portal for more information on past events. Instructions for registering to the competition are outlined below.
Summary of important dates:
- 31 March 2017: Deadline to register for the competition.
- April 2017: Disclosure of the competition problem.
- 01 May 2017: Deadline for submitting
- Early May 2017: Official announcement of the final validated ranking.
- 3-9 June, 2017: Workshop at 31st ISTS, 26th ISSFD & 8th NSAT Joint Conference.
Following tradition, as winners of the last competition, we accepted the honor of organising the competition this year. Over the last two to three decades, local optimisation methods have matured considerably.
Global search methods for interplanetary trajectory design are, however, still in their infancy. In looking for the best possible trajectory, mission designers typically perform individual local optimisations, guided by experience, until they find a solution with which they are satisfied. Global search techniques, aimed at searching for the global optimum, can offer significant assistance in finding an acceptable solution to a given problem. The GTOC competitions were instituted in 2005 as a means of stimulating research in the rich area of spacecraft trajectory optimisation. The competitions have seen greater and greater participation over the eight editions to date. They have proven to promote innovation and creativity in mission design. They offer a unique playground for researchers to test new ideas; and promote development of methods that most thoroughly and most quickly search a large and unconventional design space for optima of an unusual objective function.
This year we introduce a new system to run the competition which allows, for a greater participation also from institutions not traditionally expert in interplanetary trajectory problems and for a more interactive experience. The competition will run via the ACT Kelvins web-site a portal dedicated to host competitions on open problems in the aerospace domain. Teams will be allowed to submit their solutions and have them verified in real-time throughout the competition duration. While certainly an asset, no previous knowledge of space mission design or spacecraft dynamics will be required to solve the optimisation problem.
The competition will be to find the best solution to a difficult interplanetary spacecraft trajectory design problem which will be disclosed on the 03 April 2017. At this date, the Kelvins web-site will also show all competition details. Solutions must be submitted via the Kelvins web site by the end of the competition timeline (01 May 2017). Solutions verification (and ranking on the basis of the objective function which was specified for the problem) will be done automatically by our servers as soon as solutions will be received, and the leaderboard automatically updated in real-time.
To register for the GTOC9 competition, simply send a mail to act _AT_ esa.int (copy dario.izzo _AT_ esa.int) at the particulars given below, by 01 April 2017. The mail must include:
- Subject: "[GTOC9] - Team Registration "
- A Short Team Name (preferably within 15 characters)
- The list of names and institutional affiliations of the researchers in the team (a provisional list is sufficient for registration)
- The list of the Kelvins web-site user names that will be allowed to submit tentative solutions via the Kelvins web-site (details will be visible when the problem will be released).
More than one user can be associated to each team. Note: you need to create accounts at https://kelvins.esa.int/
Feel free (and encouraged) to pass on this announcement to other researchers you believe may be interested. A workshop to discuss results and methodologies will be held during the 31st ISTS, 26th ISSFD & 8th NSAT Joint Conference in Japan, taking place on the 3-9 June, 2017, at Himegin Hall, Matsuyama-Ehime, Japan. The details on paper submission and conference schedule will be announced at the end of the competition.
Selected teams will be offered the chance to present their results based not only on the solutions ranking but also on other criteria such as the creativity and perceived potential of the methods used. We look forward to receiving your registrations and your participation in the competition.Contacts: Advanced Concepts Team: Dario Izzo