Convex Optimization Guidance for Precision Landing on Titan

Rayan Mazouz, Marco B. Quadrelli, E. Mooij

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Precision landing is an anticipated technology for future interplanetary missions. Autonomous spacecraft Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) on the surface of a planetary body with a degree of precision in the order of meters is highly challenging. In this paper, a successive convexification guidance algorithm is utilized to simulate autonomous precision landing sequences on Saturn’s moon Titan. Due to its unique geophysical features, studying the science of matter within Titan’s atmosphere and beneath its surface is one of NASA’s most important planetary science objectives. As part of the Space Exploration Technology Directorate, a parafoil is proposed for landing on Titan due to its cost effectiveness, ease of deployment, low mass compared to the prospective payload and capabilities of precise autonomous delivery. This paper focuses on path optimization and guidance law development for high-fidelity dynamics parafoil tuning in the dense and adverse wind atmosphere of Titan, defined as a nonlinear and nonconvex optimal control problem. The powerful successive convexification method is used to solve the problem accordingly. The algorithm is designed such that the converged solution adheres to the nonlinear dynamics and kinematics in accordance with the original formulation, while respecting the state and control constraints. The six-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) simulations results show that this robust method is suitable for autonomous interplanetary applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
Subtitle of host publication11–15 & 19–21 January 2021Virtual/online event
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-609-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum - Virtual/online event due to COVID-19 , Virtual, Online
Duration: 11 Jan 202121 Jan 2021


ConferenceAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Virtual/online event due to COVID-19


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