M.Sc Student | Boris Gendler |
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Subject | Optimal Pulsed Guidance and its Application to Artillery Rockets |

Department | Department of Aerospace Engineering |

Supervisors | Full Professor Ben-Asher Yoseph |

Dr. Isaac Yaesh | |

Full Thesis text |

Free rocket accuracy can be dramatically improved by equipping the rocket
with a steering device. One such device consists of a ring of Lateral Pulse
Jets (LPJ), or small rocket engines, placed on the rocket’s perimeter. Each
pulse jet imparts a single, short duration, large force to the rocket in the
plane normal to the rocket’s axis of symmetry, resulting in a change in the
rocket’s normal velocity**. **A single pulse of finite width may be
approximately modeled as a velocity step shaped by a first order low-pass
filter. The fact that the steering unit has a finite number of pulsers, and
hence a finite number of corrections, demands an optimal guidance law which
minimizes the number of corrections. However, the development of such an
optimal guidance law is very complicated, since it requires minimization of the
sum of absolute values of the discrete-time velocity increments. Therefore, the
problem is solved in two steps. First, a continuous time, quadratic problem is
formulated and solved, followed by the solution of a discrete time problem.

In the first part of this thesis, a new continuous velocity control law for a first order time lag system was developed for cases of perfect intercept and perfect rendezvous. In the second part, a new discrete quadratic problem was formulated in terms of the sum of absolute velocity increments which reflect the pulser’s energy consumption rate.

The results were compared to other well-known guidance laws and the comparison shows that the new guidance law outperforms existing guidance laws, because of their inapplicability to pulsed guidance.