Descent & Landing Trajectory and Guidance Algorithms with Divert Capabilities for Moon Landing

Francesco Capolupo, Antonio Rinalducci

This paper presents the preliminary design of the descent and landing trajectory of the ESA Argonaut lunar lander. The mission scenario and driving system constraints are presented and accounted for in the design of a fuel-optimal trajectory that includes divert capabilities, as required to achieve a safe landing. A sub-optimal descent and landing trajectory is then presented and computed from the optimal one, and the related on-board guidance algorithms are derived. The proposed end-to-end guidance solution represents an easily implementable alternative to on-board optimization, minimizing the verification & validation effort, computational footprint, and programmatic risk in the development of the related GN&C capabilities. A dedicated off-line optimization process is also outlined, and exploited to optimize the propellant consumption of the sub-optimal trajectory and to ensure the fulfillment of system constraints despite the use of simple algorithms on-board. The sub-optimal trajectory is compared to the optimal baseline, and conclusions are drawn on the applicability of the proposed approach to the Argonaut mission.

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