Longitudinal flight control for space vehicle's automatic landing

Yoshikazu Miyazawa, Toshikazu Motoda, Tatsushi Izumi, Takashi Hata

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses a longitudinal flight path control designed and flight tested for Automatic Landing Flight Experiment, ALFLEX. ALFLEX, the flight test of which was conducted in 1996, demonstrated Japanese potentials for developing a reentry space vehicle's automatic landing technology. In the program, however, longitudinal flight path control after the preflare maneuver is one of the critical items needed to satisfy the design requirement for landing on a limited length runway. Robustness against uncertainties and sensor errors is a key issue in longitudinal flight path control. The design was carefully conducted and flight tested. Although the flight test proved that the design result satisfied all the landing requirements, it identified critical parameters affecting the landing performance, such as longitudinal aerodynamics, navigation error and air data sensor error. This paper describes data obtained through the development and flight test, as well as further investigation conducted after the flight test in order to improve landing performance for the future space vehicle development. In the design review, a new approach called stochastic gain tuning is adopted, where the guidance feedback gain is tuned to maximize the probability of mission achievement. The results indicate some possibility of robustness improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventGuidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit, 1998 - Boston, United States
Duration: Aug 10 1998Aug 12 1998


OtherGuidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit, 1998
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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