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Optimal Rocket Trajectories using Gradient Methods

April 27, 2016

  • Dr. Joseph Z. Ben-Asher
  • Isreal Institute of Technology
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • Surge 117A
  • Faculty Host: Dr. Kapania

Abstract: The problem of optimizing the trajectories of maneuvering rockets is considered. The optimization objectives are the maximal range or the minimal control effort for a given range.  The gradient method in function space is revisited and applied to solve the problem with and without state and path constraints.   The method is shown to provide an implementable and fast algorithm for a good approximation to the optimal solution. It does not require any non-linear programming solver, and can be straightforwardly programmed in a flight computer.   The method can also be used to provide an initial guess for more precise techniques, thus accelerating the computational process.

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