Minimum-time soaring through a specified vertical wind distribution

  • Bion L. Pierson
  • Imao Chen
Optimal Control: Ordinary And Delay Differential Equations
Part of the Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences book series (LNCIS, volume 22)


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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bion L. Pierson
    • 1
  • Imao Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Engineering Research InstituteIowa State UniversityAmesU. S. A.

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