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**Constrained Trajectory Optimization for Lunar Landing during the Powered Descent Phase
**

Bong-Gyun Park1, Daekyu Sang , and Min-Jea Tahk

1

Department of Aerospace, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea (Tel : +82-42-350-5758; E-mail: bgpark@fdcl.kaist.ac.kr) 2 Department of Aerospace, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea (Tel : +82-42-350-3758; E-mail: dksang@fdcl.kaist.ac.kr) 3 Department of Aerospace, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea (Tel : +82-42-350-3718; E-mail: mjtahk@fdcl.kaist.ac.kr) Abstract: To design the more accurate trajectory of a soft lunar landing, the constraints on the powered descent sub-phase, such as a breaking phase, an approach phase, a terminal descent phase, have to be considered. In this paper, the trajectory optimization of the lunar landing was performed considering constraints on the sub-phase of the powered descent phase. To convert the optimal control problem, the Legendre pseudospetral(PS) method was used and C code for Feasible Sequential Quadratic Programming(CFSQP) was used as the NLP Solver. Keywords: Legendre pseudospectral method, Hohmann transfer, Powered descent phase

1. INTRODUCTION

The Lunar landing consists of three phases: a de-orbit phase, a coast phase and a powered descent phase. The powered descent phase is also subdivided into three phases, such as a breaking phase, an approach phase, and a terminal descent phase. The lunar lander’s trajectory has to be designed considering constraints on the powered descent phase for the more accurate trajectory because the required constraints, such as a throttle limit, attitude, and velocities, on each sub-phase of the powered descent phase are different. Thus, in this paper, the trajectory optimization for lunar landing was performed considering the constraints on the sub-phases of the powered descent phase. The performance index is to minimize the lander’s fuel consumption at each sub-phase of the powered descent phase. And the de-orbit phase and the coast phase were assumed as the Hohmann transfer, which allows a transfer between the parking orbit and the powered descent phase with the minimum fuel consumption. To convert the optimal control problem into the parameter optimization problem, the Legendre pseudospectral(PS) method, which has been widely used for the trajectory optimization in recent years, was used and C code for Feasible Sequential Quadratic Programming(CFSQP) was used as the Nonlinear programming(NLP) solver. The following section will define the optimal control problem for lunar landing and the required constraints during the powered descent phase. Next, the optimization method used to solve the optimal control problem will be described. Finally, the constrained trajectory for the soft lunar landing will be compared with the base trajectory without the attitude dynamics and the trajectory with the only final attitude constraint.

2. PROBLEM DEFINITION

2.1 Assumptions The Moon is assumed as perfect sphericity and has no atmosphere. The rotation of the Moon is negligible because the landing site is not considered. The lunar equatorial radius req is 1737.4 km and the lunar gravitational parameter μ is 4902.78 km³/s². 2.2 Equations of motion In Fig. 1, the lunar lander is assumed as a mass point and the motion is planar motion. The dynamic equations considering the lander’s attitude can be derived as follows in polar coordinates [1].

r=v

θ =

u=−

uv Tmax k + cos β r m u2 μ T k v= − 2 + max sin β r r m Tmax k m=− I SP g o

u r

(1)

β =ω ω =α

ω and the control radial distance, θ horizontal velocity, lander’s mass, β

The states of the motion are r , θ , u , v , m , β , inputs are α , k where r is the is the center angle, u is the v is the vertical velocity, m is the is the thrust angle, ω is the

angular rate, and α is the angular acceleration, Tmax

- 4226 -

PR0002/09/0000-4226 ¥400 © 2009 SICE

I sp is the specific impulse.4227 - . N (4) (5) (6) (7) g ( bk ) ≤ 0. which causes the lander’s oscillation and the fuel consumption increase for the real system. But the direct method obtains the optimal trajectory minimizing directly the performance index with the control input or the state and the control input simultaneously. k is the throttle command.3 Constraints during the powered descent phase There are different constraints on three separate phases of the powered descent phase. 2 Lunar landing sub-phase during the powered descent phase ck = xN ( tk ) = N l =0 Dkl al . Especially. the breaking phase needs to reduce the lander’s velocity maintaining the full throttle. the performance index is defined to minimize the lander’s fuel consumption.. the lander’s attitude is vertical on the lunar surface and the vertical velocity is about -1 m/s and the horizontal velocity is almost zero. min J = m ( t0 ) − m t f + ( ) tf t0 W α (t ) 2 dt (2) 2. Second. and differentiation matrix Dkl are defined as follows.τ 0 ) = 0 ψ f ( a f . l.. there are two major categories: indirect and direct methods. 1 Polar coordinate of a lunar landing At each sub-phase of the powered descent phase. bk ) − N l =0 Dkl al = 0. and g 0 is the Earth’s gravity.1 Legendre pseudospetral method Polynomials used in the PS Method are globally interpolating Lagrange polynomials which are obtained from the orthogonal Legendre polynomials. weight wk . Fig. the terminal descent phase is the most important for the successful lunar exploration missions. The optimal control problem can be approximated by the following NLP problem [3]. J N ( a. 3. ψ 0 ( a0 . al .bk ) wk (3) τ f −τ 0 2 f ( ak . the constraints of the terminal descent phase are considered for the soft landing and the knots are applied to the between braking/approach phase and terminal descent phase. And the angular acceleration command with the weight W is included in the performance index because the one is seen to fluctuate. in this paper.. the Legendre PS method as a direct method was used because the direct method is more useful to apply to the optimal control problem with the bounded control inputs and the complex system than the indirect method. the lander’s attitude needs to be constant to scan landing area for hazards and to allow time for interpreting sensor scan information during the approach phase.. al := x ( tt ) .τ f ) + subject to τ f −τ 0 2 N l =0 L ( ak . In the final phase.maximum thrust. N k = 0. In the indirect method.τ f ) = 0 where. And the optimal control problem using the Legendre PS method is transformed to an NLP problem for the values of the states and the controls at the Legendre-Gauss-Lobatto(LGL) points. to convert the optimal control problem for the constrained lunar landing trajectory into a parameter optimization problem. In this paper. The nonlinear programming problem was solved by CFSQP. bl := u ( tl ) (8) (9) Fig.. k = 0. First.. 3.. necessary conditions are used to obtain the optimal trajectory. The LGL points are the zeros of the derivative of the Legendre polynomial. OPTIMIZATION METHOD For solving optimal control proems. b ) = φ ( aN . Thus. ck .. bl .

. 5]. Using the Eq.24 km. Thus. by above the value.9]. the trajectory to minimize the fuel consumption of the transfer phase can be designed as follows. At the final phase. r1 is the altitude which the powered descent 100 Apolune(Parking Orbit) 80 Altitude (km) Transfer Orbit 60 40 Perilune(15. N (10) k ≠l k =l =0 k =l = N otherwise (11) ΔV = 2 μ r1 μ − r2 ( r1 + r2 ) r2 ΔV gI sp (12) Δm = m0 1 − exp − p =π a3 (13) D := [ Dkl ] = − N ( N +1) 4 N ( N +1) 4 0 μ (14) 3. the horizontal velocity has to be almost zero and the vertical velocity has to be about -1 m/s for a soft landing.8. Table 1 Lander’s specification in the parking orbit Initial Mass(m) Thrust(N) Specific Impulse(Isp) 600 kg 1. r2 is that of the parking orbit.2 PS knotting method When the solution in the optimal control problem is piecewise smooth with nonsmooth junction point such as the launch vehicle’s mass change at each stage. lander’s attitude. the angular rate has to be zero to not tip. considering the lunar terrain and the guidance errors is difficult [6]. and transfer time p which the lander needs to move from the parking orbit to the powered descent phase were computed by using the following equation [2]. The throttle was limited from 0. where.. At each phase. phase.1.2 Powered descent phase The powered descent phase starts from the altitude of 15. and p = 3412 sec are computed respectively. k = 0. At the terminal descent phase. the one has to be 90 for the vertical landing..wk := 2 N ( N +1) 1 LN ( tk ) LN ( tk ) 1 LN ( tl ) tk − tl 2 . CONSTRAINED TRAJETORY OPTIMIZATION 4. and a is the semimajor axis. ΔV = −19.24km.943 kg . 4 Transfer phase trajectory Fig. .1 De-orbit and transfer phase The trajectory of the de-orbit and transfer phase from the parking orbit was assumed as the Hohmann Transfer which minimizes the fuel consumption and the lander’s specification in the parking orbit is as follows. fuel consumption Δm .24 km. m0 is the initial mass.700 N 316 sec Velocity increment ΔV . At the knots. Knots can be defined at the double LGL points when the time interval is divided into subinterval at the discontinuous controls or state values.3 to 1.24 km) 20 0 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 Downrange (km) 5000 6000 Fig. If the altitude of the powered descent phase starting is above 15.4228 - . the boundary conditions are as follows [7. the continuous state and control input have event equality constraints [4. At the braking/approach phase. 3 Knot Definition 4. the fuel consumption is increased.40 m/s . PS knotting method is useful. Because the thrust angle is the same as the 4..0 to protect engine off. Δm = 3. the lander’s initial mass was defined by the difference of the mass using to move the transfer orbit and the initial horizontal velocity was determined by the velocity of the perilune of the Hohmann Transfer. (12)-(14). And if the altitude is below 15.

In first case. 6 shows trajectories as time goes by and the landing time took about 586 sec. 5 Nodes and knot allocation The simulations were performed under three different conditions.Table 2 Initial constraints at each phase Braking & Approach Terminal descent Table 4 Fuel Consumption Fuel Consumption Constrained Attitude No Constrained Attitude No Attitude dynamics 277.45 263.4 km (0 km) free 0 m/sec -1 m/sec free 90 deg 0 deg/sec ) θ (t ) u (t ) v (t ) m (t ) β (t ) ω (t ) f f f f f f r (t f 1737. Fig. Fig.07 kg kg kg r ( ti ) θ ( ti ) u ( ti ) v ( ti ) m ( ti ) 1752. 7 shows the trajectories as the downrange computed by the center angle and the lander moves about 439. the lander’s attitude maintained about 90°s and the angular rate was zero to not tip when touchdown. 12-13 show the control input profiles respectively.24 km) 0 deg 1692. At the terminal descent phase. 7 Altitude vs.03 km) free 0 m/sec -1 m/sec free 90 deg free Fig. the lander’s attitude was only considered at the final condition.2 m/s 0 m/s 596.03 km) free 0 m/sec -1 m/sec Free 90 deg free β ( ti ) ω ( ti ) Table 3 Final constraints at each phase Braking & Approach Terminal descent 1737.64 km (15.56 km along the lunar surface.446 km (0.26 kg 180 deg 0 deg/sec 1737. The fuel consumption computed by CFSQP is as follows. 8-11. Altitude(km) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0 No Attitude Dynamics No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude 100 200 300 Downrange(km) 400 500 Fig. Time 16 14 Fig. the more fuel consumption is increased. The more constraints are considered. In third case.90 261. In second case. the result that the lander landed softly to the ground can be seen. 6 Altitude vs.4229 - . And other results were computed using 20 LGL points.43 km (0. 8 and 9 show the horizontal velocity and the vertical velocity and the final constraints were satisfied at each phase. 16 14 12 Altitude(km) 10 8 6 4 2 0 0 No Attitude Dynamics No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude 100 200 300 Time(sec) 400 500 600 10 LGL points were used at each phase when the constraints on the attitude were considered. And fig. Downrange . In fig. the constraints on the lander’s attitude for the soft vertical landing at each sub-phase of the powered descent phase were considered. Fig. The trajectory of the constrained attitude took more about 88sec than the other trajectories because the vertical velocity needed almost -1 m/s and the horizontal velocity needed almost zero during the terminal vertical landing. the attitude dynamics was not considered.

5 0.1 -0.5 -2 -2.2 0. Time Thrust Direction Angle(deg) No Attitude Dynamics No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude 1. Time .4230 - .3 0 No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude 100 200 300 Time(sec) 400 500 600 Vertical Velocity(m/s) Fig.3 0. 13 Throttle vs. 12 Angular Acceleration vs. Time 300 Time(sec) 400 500 600 Fig.2 -0. 11 Angular Rate vs. 8 Horizontal Velocity vs.5 0 -0.6 Fig. Time 0.5 -1 -1.1 0 -0.8 0. Time 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 -70 0 100 200 300 Time(sec) 400 500 600 No Attitude Dynamics No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude Angular Acceleration(deg/s ) 2 Fig.2 1 No Attitude Dynamics No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude 100 200 Fig.4 100 0.2 80 0 100 200 300 Time(sec) 400 500 600 0 Throttle 0. 10 Thrust Direction Angle vs. Time 200 180 160 140 120 0.1800 1600 Horizontal Velocity(m/s) 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 0 100 200 No Attitude Dynamics No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude Angular Rate(deg/s) 0. 9 Vertical Velocity vs.5 No Constrained Attitude Constrained Attitude 0 100 200 300 Time(sec) 400 500 600 300 Time(sec) 400 500 600 Fig.4 0.

The simulation results considering the constraints during the powered descent phase were compared with the trajectories not including specific constraints. G.” Journal of Guidance. Ross. Hawkins. M. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK In this paper. Price. 1965. [7] S. J. “Constrained Trajectory Optimization of a Soft Lunar Landing from a Parking Orbit. 460-471. M.. H. Fahroo. such as a search for the landing site.” Master’s thesis. [4] I. And the de-orbit and transfer phase were assumed as the Hohmman transfer. pp. 2. Tolson.” Project Apollo Working Paper 108. 2008. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This research was supported by NSL(National Space Lab) program through the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation funded by the Ministry of Education. 31. Wagner. 2008. AIAA. “Apollo Experience report – Mission Planning for the Lunar Module Descent and Ascent. Vol. [6] F. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center. 2. 24. and I. When the constraints on the lander’s attitude were considered at each sub-phase. 397-405. Fahroo and I. Jr. the lunar landing trajectory optimization was performed with the constraints on the sub-phace of the powered descent phase.5. AIAA. No. “Spacecraft Dynamics & Control-A Practical Engineering Approach. Control and Dynamics.” Journal of Guidance. And the trajectory and control histories obtained in this paper will be used to design the lunar landing trajectory for the specific missions. Wilhite. “Costate Estimation by a Legendre Pseudospectral Method. 2001. Bennett. [2] M.” Journal of Guidance. 2005. [5] Q. M Ross. M.” Cambrige University Press. “Spectral Algorithm for Pseudospectal Methods in Optimal Control. Sidi. 2004. Houston. Ross and F.” NASA CR-61075. [9] A. and T. pp. Science and Technology (S10801000123-08A0100-12310 ) REFERENCES [1] A. Bennet. and M. 27. NASA TN D-6846. Fahroo. AIAA. Vol. Control and Dynamics. “Lunar Module Descent Mission Design. V. “Parametric Study of Lunar Landing Techniques Using Predetermined Thrust Orientation. J. Vol. 1963. . No. [3] F. the fuel consumption was largest and the landing took the most time. No. 270-277. W. F. pp. R. Control and Dynamics. The analysis of the lander’s fuel consumption will provide information to develop the more efficient lunar lander. Moen.4231 - . [8] F. hazard avoidance etc. “Study of Powered Descent Trajectories for Manned Lunar Landing. 3. Gong. TX. 1972. and the more accurate trajectory. Massachustts Institute of Technology. “Pseudospectral Knotting Methods for Solving Optimal Control Problems.” AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference and Exhibi. M. 1997.

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