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On-line orbit planning and guidance for advanced upper stage

Liang Zhang (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China)
Changzhu Wei (Department of Astronautic Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China)
Yin Diao (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China)
Naigang Cui (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 21 February 2019

Issue publication date: 17 May 2019



This paper aims to investigate the problem of on-line orbit planning and guidance for an advanced upper stage.


The double impulse optimal transfer orbit is planned by the Lambert algorithm and the improved particle swarm optimization (IPSO) method, which can reduce the total velocity increment of the transfer orbit. More specially, a simplified formula is developed to obtain the working time of the main engine for two phases of flight based on the theorem of impulse. Subsequently, the true anomalies of the start position and the end position for both two phases are planned by the Newton iterative algorithm and the Kepler equation. Finally, the first phase of flight is guided by a novel iterative guidance (NIG) law based on the true anomaly update with respect to the geometrical relationship. Also, a completely analytical powered explicit guidance (APEG) law is presented to realize orbital injection for the second phase of flight.


Simulations including Monte Carlo and three typical orbit transfer missions are carried out to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed scheme.


A novel on-line orbit planning algorithm is developed based on the Lambert problem, IPSO optimization method and Newton iterative algorithm. The NIG and APEG are presented to realize the designed transfer orbit for the first and second phases of flight. Both two guidance laws achieve higher orbit injection accuracies than traditional guidance laws.



The authors would like to thank the financial supports by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61403100), the open Fund of National Defense Key Discipline Laboratory of Micro-Spacecraft Technology (No. HIT.KLOF.MST.201704), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. HIT.NSRIF.2015.037).


Zhang, L., Wei, C., Diao, Y. and Cui, N. (2019), "On-line orbit planning and guidance for advanced upper stage", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 91 No. 4, pp. 634-647.



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