Automatic Approach and Landing Trajectory Planner for Unpowered Reusable Launch Vehicle
Advances in Aerospace Science and Technology
A new guidance scheme for the approach and landing (A & L) phase of an unpowered reusable launch vehicle (RLV) has been developed. The main advantage of the new guidance is the use of glide-efficiency factor as the independent variable to compute the geometrical flare parameters by a set of analytical functions. The trajectory-planning algorithm generates its reference geometry based on the steep and shallow subphases, respectively. During the steep segment, the quasi-equilibrium glide (QEG)
... rium glide (QEG) solution, which assumes a constant dynamic pressure and flight-path angle during the flight, is used to create the flight reference while the shallow segment is defined by polynomial functions for altitude and dynamic pressure profiles. Standard linearization methods are used to design a closed-loop command in order to track the QEG profile. Furthermore, proportion-derivative (PD) control is used to modulate the lift coefficient during the flare flight. Once the reference trajectory is created, a closed-loop simulation is obtained to track the reference. Off-nominal conditions, in terms of change in initial glide-efficiency factor, dynamic pressure, flight-path angle, and altitude are tested using a Monte-Carlo simulation. The simulated results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm to land the vehicle successfully under large dispersions of glide-efficiency factor.