Masters Theses


David Drake


"This thesis presents a flight control law for the ascent phase of flight of the next generation of reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). The control law developed and presented here is a new suboptimal nonlinear control technique. This new technique, called the θ-D method, is synthesized by adding perturbations to a typical optimal control formulation with a quadratic cost function. The controller expressions are obtained by getting an approximate closed-form solution to the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation. The θ-D method is able to avoid iterative online solutions due to the fact that the solution is closed form. A controller using this method has been designed for the ascent phase of a reusable launch vehicle and implemented in a six degrees-of-freedom high fidelity simulator being run at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Simulation results show that the θ-D controller achieves accurate tracking for the ascent phase of the reusable launch vehicle while being robust to external disturbances and plant uncertainties"--Abstract, page iii.


Balakrishnan, S. N.

Committee Member(s)

Eversman, Walter
Sarangapani, Jagannathan, 1965-


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


This research work was supported by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA and NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center, Huntsville, AL.


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Fall 2004


ix, 42 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 40-41).


© 2004 David Thomas Drake, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Space vehicles -- Control systems
Nonlinear control theory
Reusable space vehicles

Thesis Number

T 8665

Print OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

Electronic access to the full-text of this document is restricted to Missouri S&T users. Otherwise, request this publication directly from Missouri S&T Library or contact your local library.

Share My Thesis If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the button above.