An Integrated Ground-Based and Onboard Adaptive Path Generation Tool for Rapid Mission Planning and Operations

Period of Performance: 04/21/2006 - 04/21/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Barron Assoc., Inc.
Principal Investigator


Barron Associates and Dr. Ping Lu of Iowa State University propose to develop adaptive guidance and trajectory generation algorithms covering ascent, entry, and terminal flight phases for next generation space vehicles. These algorithms will be developed for both onboard implementation and for a ground-based pre-mission planning optimization approach. A prototype onboard guidance/trajectory generation algorithm for ascent will be based on Barron Associates past methods for fast trajectory optimization and Dr. Lu s methods for optimal ascent trajectory generation. The team s entry trajectory planning and terminal guidance algorithms will be matured. These approaches allow for commanded mid-course retargeting and trajectory reshaping, accounting for off-nominal conditions. A prototype fast ground-based mission planning algorithm will also be developed using a hybrid optimal control framework to address the myriad of discrete events and differing objectives for each flight phase. Mission plans will be generated in an optimal fashion, piecing together the trajectories from the different flight phases, generated using the onboard methods. A prototype software toolbox for rapid mission analysis and planning will be constructed based on the developed technologies. This toolbox will feature user interfaces with options for mission flight plans, performing various trade studies, and analyzing of other mission scenarios.