Control Design and Stability Analysis of an Autonomous Gimbaled Engine Vehicle
Spanos, Pol D.
Master of Science
Robustly stable control architectures and designs are developed for autonomous flight of a gimbaled engine lander. The equations of motion describing the vehicle are linearized and stability analysis is performed to determine the optimally stable location of the propellant tanks relative to the airframe center of mass. Various controllers are designed to fly simulated planetary descent, x-prize, and hover trajectories. The various control designs apply a traditional Apollo approach as well as a new control design aiming to improve stability and performance. Optimal controller gains and filters are found for each design. Stability analysis is completed on the separate designs and simulated trajectories are flown in order to compare the performance of each design.
Applied sciences; Aerospace engineering; Mechanical engineering