Hit-to-kill guidance algorithm for the interception of ballistic missiles during the boost phase
Lukacs, John A.
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A near-optimal guidance law has been developed using the direct method of calculus of variations that maximizes the kinetic energy transfer from a surface-launched missile upon interception to a ballistic missile target during the boost phase of flight. Mathematical models of a North Korean Taep'o-dong II (TD-2) medium-range ballistic missile and a Raytheon Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) interceptor are used to demonstrate the guidance lawâ s performance. This law will utilize the SM-6â s onboard computer and active radar sensors to independently predict an intercept point, solve the two-point boundary value problem, and determine a near-optimal flight path to that point. Determining a truly optimal flight path would require significant computing power and time, while a near-optimal flight path can be calculated onboard the interceptor and updated in real time without significant changes to the interceptorâ s hardware. That near-optimal guidance path is then converted into a set of command functions and fed back into the control computer of the interceptor. By modifying the second and third derivatives of the two-point boundary value problem, the intercept conditions can be varied to study their effects upon the optimal flight path regarding the maximization of kinetic energy upon impact.
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