Abort landing in the presence of windshear as a minimax optimal control problem, part 2: Multiple shooting and homotopy

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


In Part 1 of the paper (Ref. 2), we have shown that the necessary conditions for the optimal control problem of the abort landing of a passenger aircraft in the presence of windshear result in a multipoint boundary-value problem. This boundary-value problem is especially well suited for numerical treatment by the multiple shooting method. Since this method is basically a Newton iteration, initial guesses of all variables are needed and assumptions about the switching structure have to be made. These are big obstacles, but both can be overcome by a so-called homotopy strategy where the problem is imbedded into a one-parameter family of subproblems in such a way that (at least) the first problem is simple to solve. The solution data to the first problem may serve as an initial guess for the next problem, thus resulting in a whole chain of problems. This process is to be continued until the objective problem is reached.

Techniques are presented here on how to handle the various changes of the switching structure during the homotopy run. The windshear problem, of great interest for safety in aviation, also serves as an excellent benchmark problem: Nearly all features that can arise in optimal control appear when solving this problem. For example, the candidate for an optimal trajectory of the minimax optimal control problem shows subarcs with both bang-bang and singular control functions, boundary arcs and touch points of two state constraints, one being of first order and the other being of third order, etc. Therefore, the results of this paper may also serve as some sort of user's guide for the solution of complicated real-life optimal control problems by multiple shooting.

The candidate found for an optimal trajectory is discussed and compared with an approximate solution already known (Refs. 3–4). Besides the known necessary conditions, additional sharp necessary conditions based on sign conditions of certain multipliers are also checked. This is not possible when using direct methods.

Key Words

Optimal control multiple shooting multipoint boundary-value problems homotopy minimax optimal control problems state constraints bang-bang controls singular controls 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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