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Optimal Information Filtering for Robust Aerocapture Trajectory Generation and Guidance

Heidrich, Casey R. and Holzinger, Marcus J. and Braun, Robert D. (2022) Optimal Information Filtering for Robust Aerocapture Trajectory Generation and Guidance. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 59 (2). pp. 524-537. ISSN 0022-4650. doi:10.2514/1.a35175.

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Entry flight is a critical mission phase of planetary aeroassist problems. During atmospheric flight, aleatory-epistemic uncertainty and environmental factors reduce the accuracy of predicted future states for precision targeting. This problem has been approached historically with closed-loop guidance rooted in certainty equivalence. This property separates estimation and control problems, allowing each to be considered independently. In other concept studies, an observer model is neglected altogether in favor of assuming perfect state knowledge. However, a flight system will inevitably have imprecise state information and variability in its underlying dynamics and measurement models. Systemic uncertainty is a fundamental limitation of existing entry guidance approaches. This work seeks to overcome these challenges by posing aerocapture as a robust optimization problem. The cost objective of the maneuver is reformulated to account for uncertainty in atmospheric structure, vehicle performance parameters, and state estimation accuracy using an observer-based consider filter. An expected value performance cost is developed from anticipated measurement conditioning effects. A rapid solution methodology is illustrated using explicit integration strategies with a parameterized control structure. Results for a Mars aerocapture concept study show improvement in the postcapture orbit accuracy with low computational overhead.

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Additional Information:© 2021 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Presented as Paper 2020 at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Virtual Event, August 9–12, 2020; received 21 May 2021; revision received 22 July 2021; accepted for publication 3 September 2021; published online 11 October 2021. The first author was supported by a U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship in Critical Aerospace Technologies at the University of Colorado Boulder (P200A180014) and a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NNX17AG09H).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of EducationP200A180014
NASA Space Technology Research FellowshipNNX17AG09H
Subject Keywords:Aerocapture; Closed Loop; Aerodynamic Force Coefficients; Flight Path Angle; Orbital Eccentricity; Probability Density Functions; Extended Kalman Filter; Bang Bang Control; Ice Giant; Dynamic Pressure
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211201-174611984
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Official Citation:Optimal Information Filtering for Robust Aerocapture Trajectory Generation and Guidance Casey R. Heidrich, Marcus J. Holzinger, and Robert D. Braun Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 2022 59:2, 524-537; DOI: 10.2514/1.a35175
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112140
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Dec 2021 17:54
Last Modified:08 Apr 2022 17:57

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