The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 229–259 | Cite as

Integrated Targeting and Guidance for Powered Planetary Descent

  • Dilmurat M. Azimov
  • Robert H. Bishop


This paper presents an on-board guidance and targeting design that enables explicit state and thrust vector control and on-board targeting for planetary descent and landing. These capabilities are developed utilizing a new closed-form solution for the constant thrust arc of the braking phase of the powered descent trajectory. The key elements of proven targeting and guidance architectures, including braking and approach phase quartics, are employed. It is demonstrated that implementation of the proposed solution avoids numerical simulation iterations, thereby facilitating on-board execution of targeting procedures during the descent. It is shown that the shape of the braking phase constant thrust arc is highly dependent on initial mass and propulsion system parameters. The analytic solution process is explicit in terms of targeting and guidance parameters, while remaining generic with respect to planetary body and descent trajectory design. These features increase the feasibility of extending the proposed integrated targeting and guidance design to future cargo and robotic landing missions.


On-board guidance Targeting Thrust vector control Powered descent trajectory Closed-form solution Braking phase 



The authors are thankful to Alan Klumpp, the main developer of the Apollo lunar descent guidance programs, for his discussions of the general approach used in the paper, including the description of the braking phase by closed-form solutions and the use of quartics in the design of the descent trajectory.


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Copyright information

© American Astronautical Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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