Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


David K. Geller


Traditional spacecraft guidance techniques have the objective of deterministically minimizing fuel consumption. These traditional approaches to guidance are developed independently of the navigation system, and without regard to stochastic effects. This work presents and demonstrates a new approach to guidance design. This new approach seeks to maximize the probability of mission success by minimizing the variance of trajectory dispersions subject to a fuel consumption constraint. The fuel consumption constraint is imposed by formulating the dynamics in terms of a steering command, and placing a constraint on the final time. Stochastic quadratic synthesis is then used to solve for the nominal control along with the estimator and feedback gains. This new approach to guidance is demonstrated by solving a simple Zermelo boat problem. This example shows that a significant reduction in terminal dispersions is possible with small increases to fuel budgeted for the maneuver.