In order to study design tradeoffs in the development of an AWE system, it is useful to develop a code to optimize a trajectory for arbitrary objective function and constraints. We present a procedure for using direct collocation to optimize such a trajectory where a model is specified as a set of differential–algebraic equations. The six degree of freedom single-kite, pumping-mode AWE model developed in
is summarized, and two typical periodic optimal control problems are formulated and solved: maximum power and number of cycles per retraction. Finally, a procedure for optimally transitioning between two fixed trajectories is presented.