Abort landing in the presence of windshear as a minimax optimal control problem, part 1: Necessary conditions

  • R. Bulirsch
  • F. Montrone
  • H. J. Pesch
Contributed Papers


The landing of a passenger aircraft in the presence of windshear is a threat to aviation safety. The present paper is concerned with the abort landing of an aircraft in such a serious situation. Mathematically, the flight maneuver can be described by a minimax optimal control problem. By transforming this minimax problem into an optimal control problem of standard form, a state constraint has to be taken into account which is of order three. Moreover, two additional constraints, a first-order state constraint and a control variable constraint, are imposed upon the model. Since the only control variable appears linearly, the Hamiltonian is not regular. Thus, well-known existence theorems about the occurrence of boundary arcs and boundary points cannot be applied. Numerically, this optimal control problem is solved by means of the multiple shooting method in connection with an appropriate homotopy strategy. The solution obtained here satisfies all the sharp necessary conditions including those depending on the sign of certain multipliers. The trajectory consists of bang-bang and singular subarcs, as well as boundary subarcs induced by the two state constraints. The occurrence of boundary arcs is known to be impossible for regular Hamiltonians and odd-ordered state constraints if the order exceeds two. Additionally, a boundary point also occurs where the third-order state constraint is active. Such a situation is known to be the only possibility for odd-ordered state constraints to be active if the order exceeds two and if the Hamiltonian is regular. Because of the complexity of the optimal control, this single problem combines many of the features that make this kind of optimal control problems extremely hard to solve. Moreover, the problem contains nonsmooth data arising from the approximations of the aerodynamic forces and the distribution of the wind velocity components. Therefore, the paper can serve as some sort of user's guide to solve inequality constrained real-life optimal control problems by multiple shooting.

Key Words

Optimal control Chebyshev-type optimal control problems minimax optimal control problems optimal trajectories state constraints state constraints of third order bang-bang controls singular controls multipoint boundary-value problems multiple shooting methods flight mechanics landing abort landing windshear problems 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bulirsch
    • 1
  • F. Montrone
    • 1
  • H. J. Pesch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of TechnologyMunichGermany

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