Optimal control of an aircraft-towed flexible cable system

Williams, P, Sgarioto, D and Trivailo, P 2006, 'Optimal control of an aircraft-towed flexible cable system', Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 401-410.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Optimal control of an aircraft-towed flexible cable system
Author(s) Williams, P
Sgarioto, D
Trivailo, P
Year 2006
Journal name Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Volume number 29
Issue number 2
Start page 401
End page 410
Total pages 10
Publisher American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Abstract The control of an aerial-towed flexible cable system for precision rendezvous and snatch pickup of payloads is considered. In past studies of related systems, optimal trajectories have been determined assuming that the cable remains straight. However, aerodynamic drag and deployment forces can cause bowing of the cable that can significantly alter the position of the cable tip relative to the aircraft. To account for this, the cable is modeled using lumped masses connected via rigid links. Multiple rendezvous sequences using only cable winch control and including features such as collision avoidance and variable winds are solved by multiple-phase direct transcription methods. Numerical results show that for some multiple rendezvous scenarios it is necessary to use the cable lateral dynamics and swing motion to avoid impact with elevated terrain. The effect of different wind speeds and directions are also studied.
Subject Optimisation
Flight Dynamics
Simulation and Modelling
Keyword(s) Optimal control
aerial towed systems
flexible cable
multiple rendezvous
snatch pickup of payloads
DOI - identifier 10.2514/1.13993
ISSN 0731-5090
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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