Cross-country sailflight as a dynamic optimization problem

B.L. Pierson, J.L. Jong, de

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A minimum-time, thermal-to-thermal sailplane trajectory optimization problem is formulated as a non-linear optimal control problem. Numerical solutions are obtained using a gradiaent projection algorithm which incorporates conjugate directions of search. Further insight into the nature of the solutions and the computational process is ontained through an analysis of the linearized sailplane dynamics and the necessary conditions for optimality. Numerical results are presented for two sailplane types and various values of thermal strength and distance between thermals. An additional problem is formulated and solved for the case of bounded control rate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1759
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1978


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