Pseudospectral Optimal Control for Flight Trajectory Optimization

Period of Performance: 06/16/2015 - 01/15/2016


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 Hawthorne Blvd. Array
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Florida
339 Weil Hall
Gainsville, FL 32611
Institution POC

Research Topics


Systems Technology, Inc. proposes to use and extend new technology from the University of Florida to enable real-time use of trajectory optimization to improve the guidance of autonomous air vehicles such as those used by the U. S. Navy. These range from missiles to UAVs. Specifically this work will involve enhancements, from the University of Florida, in hp-adaptive pseudospectral optimization. This technology efficiently and accurately identifies transitions in different features in the optimal trajectory and uses a different pseudospectral scheme in each segment of the solution. This significantly increases speed and accuracy. These enhancements are expected to allow solution of aerial vehicle optimal control problems in real-time. The enhancements will involve work in three primary areas: (1) the hp-adaptive mesh refinement method; (2) the conjugate gradient optimization method; and (3) the algorithmic differentiation method. Systems Technology, Inc. will work with the University of Florida to adapt these developments to air vehicle guidance and control. This will include developing the proper interface between the optimal trajectory solution, which can be updated at high frequency, and the air vehicle guidance and control system.