3D Range Maximization of a Suborbital Launch Vehicles Upper Stage

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Y. Xu (2008), JBIS, 61, 395-400

Refcode: 2008.61.395
Keywords: Optimal control, trajectory, launch vehicle, range maximization

This paper investigates a different way of finding the maximum range trajectory for a suborbital launch vehicle in real time. Instead of evaluating terminal constraints and transversality conditions at the end point of the final ballistic arc, these values are evaluated at the end point of a burn arc. This modification offers several advantages. First, the free terminal time is changed to be a fixed terminal time, therefore the ballistic coast arc propagation can be avoided and the Hamiltonian for the remaining fixed terminal time system is a constant. Second, since there is only one arc involved in optimization, no discontinuity happens and convergence is more reliable. Third, compared with Vinh and Arora's method, the 2D scenario is extended to 3D without singularities associated with 0o inclination. Simulation results demonstrate that the use of this method is proper for real time maximum range trajectory planning.

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