Differential Games Based Autonomous Rendezvous for Aerial Refueling

  • Ezra TalEmail author
  • Tal Shima


An integrated guidance law and auto-pilot for autonomous rendezvous towards aerial refueling using the probe-and-drogue system is presented. For the derivation the rendezvous problem is considered as a differential game in which the trailing aircraft’s objective is to capture the drogue. A linear quadratic cost formulation is utilized in order to develop an optimal control expression for pursuer aircraft elevator, ailerons, and rudder control, as well as optimal evasive action. Optimal evasive action herein represents the worst-case drogue movement. Results of numerical simulations using a longitudinal lateral-directional flight dynamic model of a realistic aircraft are presented.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, G.: Comparison of optimal control and differential game intercept missile guidance laws. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 4(2), 115–190 (1981)Google Scholar
  2. Bryson, A., Ho, Y.: Applied Optimal Control. Blaisdell Publishing Company, New York (1969)Google Scholar
  3. Ochi, Y., Kominami, T.: Flight control for automatic aerial refueling via png and los angle control. In: AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit (2005)Google Scholar
  4. Pachter, M., Houpis, C., Trosen, D.: Design of an air-to-air automatic refueling flight control system using quantitative feedback theory. International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control 7, 561–580 (1997)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Shima, T., Golan, O.: Linear quadratic differential games guidance law for dual controlled missiles. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems 43(3), 834–842 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Shima, T., Idan, M., Golan, O.: Sliding-mode control for integrated missile autopilot guidance. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 29(2), 250–260 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Shinar, J., Shima, T.: Differential game-based interceptor missile guidance. In: Balakrishnan, S., Tsourdos, A., White, B. (eds.) Advances in Missile Guidance, Control, and Estimation. Automation and Control Series, ch. 9, pp. 307–342. CRC Press, Boca Raton (2012)Google Scholar
  8. Stevens, B., Lewis, F.: Aircraft Control and Simulation. Wiley Inter-Science, New York (1992)Google Scholar
  9. Tal, E., Shima, T.: Linear quadratic differential games guidance law for autonomous aerial refueling. In: Israel Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences (2015)Google Scholar
  10. Tandale, M., Bowers, R., Valasek, J.: Trajectory tracking controller for vision-based probe and drogue autonomous aerial refueling. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 29(4), 846–857 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wang, J., Patel, V., Cao, C., Hovakimyan, N., Lavretsky, E.: Novel \(\mathcal{L}_1\) adaptive control methodology for aerial refueling with guaranteed transient performance. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 31(1), 182–193 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Aerospace EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Aerospace EngineeringTechnion - Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations