Guidance algorithms for rocket launchers ensure the target is reached but do not take into account the left over propellant. Left-over propellant causes target over-shoots or numerous constraints on passivation and re-entry of stages. Our client had identified a guidance technique enabling complete propellant consumption when target is reached and asked us to enhance, implement and test this method.
Rocket launchers are governed by three entities:
Guidance algorithms transmit two types of instructions:
For numerous engines, it is impossible to stop the combustion (mainly solid rocket boosters). If the engine still has some thrust capacity when the target is reached, it will over shoot the target.
Even if the engine can be stopped, there can be propellant still present in the launcher stage when the target is reached. This causes a large number of constraints and problems in terms of stage passivation and stage re-entry.
A guidance method that would have the capacity to ensure the complete consumption of propellant at the moment when the launcher reaches its target would alleviate the 2 problems presented.
Our client had identified a possible solution to his guidance problem in academic literature. He asked us to test the feasibility of the described guidance technique.
Cornis conducted an extensive exploration, using scientific publications and patents to collect a maximum amount of information on the targeted technique. This allowed Cornis to identify other publications that were key to implementing and making the guidance method selected by our client work .
The second step of the study was implementing the guidance algorithms based on the literature review. It was necessary to complete and add some steps in the guidance algorithm that were not presented in the literature. With our client we were thus able to elaborate a complete operational guidance method.
A flight simulator was then designed and implemented to test the performances of the guidance algorithms (robustness, stability, etc.). These test allowed us to enhance the guidance algorithm.