NASA currently utilizes SNOPT, IPOPT, and WORHP software packages for astrodynamics applications such as the design of complex spacecraft trajectories and other optimal control problems, but could greatly benefit from the introduction of a parallel large-scale, nonlinear, sparse optimization solution, one which does not have its speed bottlenecked by a single processor. The new parallelized NLP technique implemented in NLPAROPT has already been shown to result in a reduction in execution time, thereby reducing the optimization's turn-around time and improve communications between both designers and scientists. Our solver would act as a significant force multiplier for existing NASA tools such as GMATs collocation-based low-thrust transcription and EMTGs inner loop solver. Additionally, NLPAROPT could improve run-times across all forms of problem optimizations, including trajectory design, resource management, attitude determination and control, and vehicle design.
Government agencies other than NASA, as well as commercial markets, would benefit from the improvements inherent in NLPAROPT, especially given the widespread use of nonlinear programming techniques as a primary method for solving some of the most difficult technical computing problems. For example, in economics the product-mix with price elasticity problem can be formulated as a nonlinear program and solved with a tool like NLPAROPT. Another field that depends heavily on efficient and robust NLP solvers is operations research, with the facility location problem and network optimization problems being archetypal examples of operation research challenges that may be cast as nonlinear programs. Furthermore, industries dealing with problems such as power grid design, weather prediction, and crop planting optimization could benefit from NLPAROPT?s speed enhancements.