3rd Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition (GTOC3)
10 October 2007 The Aerospace Propulsion group of the Dipartimento di Energetica - Politecnico di Torino announced the third edition of the Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition.
After the success of its first round, the Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition, an event organized for the first time by ESA's Advanced Concepts Team, will be held again this year. The competition will be organised by The Aerospace Propulsion group of the Dipartimento di Energetica - Politecnico di Torino as winners of last year’s competition. In the image on the right, the trophee by the Spanish artist Isabel Genovard, chosen as symbol of the GTOC competitions. Read the original text of this year's announcement below
10 October 2007
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
We are glad to announce the "3rd Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition," organised this year by the Aerospace Propulsion group of the Dipartimento di Energetica - Politecnico di Torino. Instructions for registering for the competition are outlined below.
The competition was instituted and organised in 2005 under the leadership of Dario Izzo of the Advanced Concepts Team, European Space Agency (Refs. 1 and 2), as a means of stimulating research in the area of spacecraft trajectory optimisation. The second edition took place in 2006, organized by the Outer Planets Mission Analysis Group of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Ref. 3). As last year's winners, we feel proud and honoured to act as organisers of this year's competition.
Today, local optimisation methods, while unlikely to provide a global optimum, are widely used in trajectory optimisation. In looking for the best possible trajectory, mission designers expertly perform individual local optimisations until they find a satisfactory solution. Global optimisation techniques can offer significant assistance in finding an acceptable solution to a given problem, even though convergence to the global optimum is not yet ensured. Focusing on a problem with a very large number of locally optimal solutions, the Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition promotes development of methods that most efficiently explore a large and unconventional design space for optima. The competition offers a unique playground for researchers to test new ideas; and is an excellent way to compare global optimisation methods with classical local methods, which are permitted but, in fact, complicated by the unusual objective function of the proposed problem.
Participation in the competition will be limited to the first forty researchers or researcher teams who register. To take part in our competition, simply contact Lorenzo Casalino, preferably by email, at the address given below, by November 09, 2007. Please include in the email a point of contact and the names and institutional affiliations of the researchers in the team. Feel free to pass on this announcement to other researchers you believe may be interested.
The competition aims to find the "best" solution to an interplanetary spacecraft trajectory optimisation problem which will be announced on November 12, 2007. Solutions must be returned within four weeks, that is, by December 10, 2007, in an ASCII text format which will be specified. Solutions will be first verified and then ranked on the basis of the objective function which was specified for the given problem.
We plan to create a website detailing a list of participating teams, the research problem, and eventually the delivered solutions. A one-day workshop will be held in late spring 2008 in Turin, Italy, where selected teams will be invited to present their methods and results. Selection of presenting teams will be based not only on the solutions but also on other criteria such as the creativity and perceived potential of the methods used. Details of the workshop are still to be determined.
Summary of important dates:
We look forward to receiving your registration and your participation in the competition.
Alternate contact person:
 GTOC portal
 Acta Astronautica, Vol. 61, Issue 9, 2007. Issue devoted to results from the "1st ACT Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition".
 GTOC2 JPL press release
For non-space researchers|
In order to facilitate teams having backgrounds other than aerospace engineering to participate this year competition, a number of useful astrodynamic functions, in Matlab and in C++ is available here.