Minimum-time soaring through a specified vertical wind distribution
The problem of minimum-time sailplane flight through a given vertical wind distribution for a specified altitude loss is presented as a nonlinear optimal control problem. Numerical solutions are obtained, using a gradient projection algorithm, for the case of a sinusoidal wind. The initial and final states are constrained to be equal; however, they may be either fixed or free. A new optimal trajectory type is found to exist for the case of free boundary conditions and relatively strong and high-frequency winds.
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