Optimal control maneuver with aerobraking for Mars mission

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents investigations to generate control schemes during the atmospheric phase of aerobraking for a Mars mission. The mission involves transfer from a high Mars orbit to a low Mars orbit with plane change being performed within the atmosphere. The atmospheric maneuver is composed of an entry mode, a cruise mode and finally an exit mode. The principal contribution of this paper is the study of two methods for maintaining constant altitude and velocity magnitudes of the vehicle while effecting a heading change to achieve the desired orbit plane change during the cruise mode. These are: a) bank angle control with constant thrust and b) thrust control with constant bank angle. By comparing the two controls during the cruise mode, it is shown that the bank angle control is the superior method for allowing the greater maximum heading change. This is supported by digital simulations of the complete maneuver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1619-1641
Number of pages23
JournalControl, theory and advanced technology
Issue number4 pt 4
StatePublished - Nov 1 1995


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal control maneuver with aerobraking for Mars mission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this