A guidance method for the space shuttle’s transition from hypersonic entry to subsonic cruising flight is presented. The method evolves from a numerical trajectory optimization technique in which kinetic energy and total energy (per unit weight) replace velocity and time in the dynamic equations. This allows the open end-time problem to be transformed to one of fixed terminal energy. In its ultimate form, "E-Guidance" obtains energy balance (including dynamic-pressure-rate damping) and path length control by angle-of-attack modulation and cross-range control by roll angle modulation. The guidance functions also form the basis for a pilot display of instantaneous maneuver limits and destination. Numerical results illustrate the E-Guidance concept and the optimal trajectories on which it is based.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science
- Entry vehicle dynamics’and control
- Navigation, control, and guidance theory
- Spacecraft navigation, guidance, and flight-path control systems