AIR VEHICLE FLIGHT PATH OPTIMIZATION.
Final status rept.
GRUMMAN AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING CORP BETHPAGE N Y
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The means generally available for treatment of optimal air vehicle flight paths are limited from the viewpoint of practical numerical computations. The method of gradients has been applied to air vehicle problems of maximum range, minimum fuel, and minimum time subject to various constraints with considerable success. Two versions of the gradient method, gradient pro jection and a gradientpenalty function technique for handling terminal constraints have been employed. An integral form of penalty function has been introduced for incorporation of two limit boundaries in the altitude- Mach number chart one a minimum altitude limit and the second a Mach number versus altitude envelope corresponding to powerplant and structural limitations. The differing versions of the gradient method have been investigated in range, fuel, and time computations for a hypothetical Mach 3 vehicle, the aim being to assess the relative merits of these versions from the viewpoint of speed of convergence of the successive approximations scheme. Author