The long duration airborne feature of airships makes them an attractive solution for many military and civil applications such as long-endurance surveillance, reconnaissance, environment monitoring, communication utilities, and energy harvesting. To achieve a minimum energy periodic motion in the air, an optimal trajectory problem is solved using basic direct collocation methods. In the direct approach, the optimal control problem is converted into a nonlinear programming (NLP). Pseudo-inverse and several discretization methods such as Trapezoidal and Hermite-Simpson are used to obtain a numerical approximated solution by discretizing the states and controls into a set of equal nodes. These nodes are approximated by a cubic polynomial function which makes it easier for the optimization to converge while ensuring the problem constraints and the equations of motion are satisfied at the collocation points for a defined trajectory. In this study, direct collocation method provides the ability to obtain an approximation solution of the minimum energy expenditure of a very complex dynamic problem using Matlab fmincon optimization algorithm without using Himiltonian function with Lagrange multipliers. The minimal energy trajectory of the airship is discussed and results are presented.
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Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace Engineering; Space System Design and Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Pierre-Louis, Pradens, "Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Modeling of a High Altitude Airship and Its Trajectory Optimization Using Direct Collocation Method" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5591.