CONJUGATE GRADIENT METHODS WITH AN APPLICATION TO V/STOL FLIGHT-PATH OPTIMIZATION.
Interim technical rept.,
HARVARD UNIV CAMBRIDGE MA DIV OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED PHYSICS
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Conjugate gradient methods have recently been applied to some simple optimization problems and have been shown to converge faster than the methods of steepest descent. The present paper considers application of these methods to more complicated problems involving terminal as well as in-flight constraints. A number of methods are suggested to handle these constraints and the numerical difficulties associated with each method are discussed. The problem of flight-path optimization of a VSTOL aircraft was considered and minimum time paths for the climb phase were obtained using the conjugate gradient algorithm. In conclusion, some remarks are made about the relative efficiency of the different optimization schemes presently available for the solution of optimal control problems. Author