Fast multiphase optimization for aircraft descent and approach trajectory

D.G. Luchinsky, D. Timucin, S.Schuet, J. Brenton, D. Smith, and and J. Kaneshige
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phmc_17_009.pdf941.75 KBSeptember 6, 2017 - 10:16am

In the future air traffic management system, the trajectory becomes the fundamental element of a new set of operating procedures collectively referred to as trajectory-based operations (TBO) [1] . One of the challenges in development of the future TBO is management of the airport congestion especially under convective weather conditions [2] . One of the key ingredients to the solution of this problem is fast online optimization of the aircraft descent trajectory. The difficulty in solving this problem stem from the fact that there are multiple actions that have to be completed during descent while respecting the system dynamics and satisfying a large number of linear and nonlinear constraints.
Here we present a novel approach to the solution of resulting multiphase dynamical control problem. We formulate a general multiphase optimal control problem for optimization of the descent trajectory and review available methods of its solution. We develop a solution of this problem using two key algorithms: (i) fast inference of the dynamical and control variables of the descending trajectory from the low dimensional flight profile data using inversion of the dynamical equations and (ii) efficient local search for the resulting reduced dimensionality non-linear optimization problem that avoids dynamical constraints.
Importantly, the proposed approach provides not only much faster alternate to existing optimization techniques, but it also paves the way to development of a general algorithm that combines optimization of aircraft arrival time with runway scheduling problem for multiple aircrafts under convective weather conditions.
We present results of the solution of the scheduling problem for aircraft descent, compare performance of our algorithm with the solution developed using conventional solvers and discuss future applications of the proposed approach.

[1] Cate, K. "Challenges in Achieving Trajectory-Based Operations" in 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition (AIAA, 2013). 2013-443.
[2] M. Kamgarpour, W. Zhang & C.J. Tomlin. Modeling and optimization of terminal airspace and aircraft arrival subject to weather uncertainties. AIAA Guid. Navig. Control Conf. 1–13 (2011).
[3] de Jong, P M A, N de Gelder, R P M Verhoeven, F J L Bussink, R Kohrs, M M van Paassen, and M Mulder. 2014. “Time and Energy Management During Descent and Approach: Batch Simulation Study.” Journal of Aircraft 52 (1). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics: 190–203.

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Submission Keywords: 
mutiphase optimization
aircraft landing trajectory scheduling
vertical trajectory optimization
Submission Topic Areas: 
Modeling and simulation
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