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Title:New numerical methods for open-loop and feedback solutions to dynamic optimization problems
Author(s):Ghosh, Pradipto
Director of Research:Conway, Bruce A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Conway, Bruce A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Prussing, John E.; Chung, Soon-Jo; Nedich, Angelia
Department / Program:Aerospace Engineering
Discipline:Aerospace Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Trajectory Optimization
Optimal Control Theory
Optimal Feedback Control
Feedback Guidance
Pursuit-Evasion Games
Dynamic Programming
Particle Swarm Optimization
Swarm Intelligence
Abstract:The topic of the first part of this research is trajectory optimization of dynamical systems via computational swarm intelligence. Particle swarm optimization is a nature-inspired heuristic search method that relies on a group of potential solutions to explore the fitness landscape. Conceptually, each particle in the swarm uses its own memory as well as the knowledge accumulated by the entire swarm to iteratively converge on an optimal or near-optimal solution. It is relatively straightforward to implement and unlike gradient-based solvers, does not require an initial guess or continuity in the problem definition. Although particle swarm optimization has been successfully employed in solving static optimization problems, its application in dynamic optimization, as posed in optimal control theory, is still relatively new. In the first half of this thesis particle swarm optimization is used to generate near-optimal solutions to several nontrivial trajectory optimization problems including thrust programming for minimum fuel, multi-burn spacecraft orbit transfer, and computing minimum-time rest-to-rest trajectories for a robotic manipulator. A distinct feature of the particle swarm optimization implementation in this work is the runtime selection of the optimal solution structure. Optimal trajectories are generated by solving instances of constrained nonlinear mixed-integer programming problems with the swarming technique. For each solved optimal programming problem, the particle swarm optimization result is compared with a nearly exact solution found via a direct method using nonlinear programming. Numerical experiments indicate that swarm search can locate solutions to very great accuracy. The second half of this research develops a new extremal-field approach for synthesizing nearly optimal feedback controllers for optimal control and two-player pursuit-evasion games described by general nonlinear differential equations. A notable revelation from this development is that the resulting control law has an algebraic closed-form structure. The proposed method uses an optimal spatial statistical predictor called universal kriging to construct the surrogate model of a feedback controller, which is capable of quickly predicting an optimal control estimate based on current state (and time) information. With universal kriging, an approximation to the optimal feedback map is computed by conceptualizing a set of state-control samples from pre-computed extremals to be a particular realization of a jointly Gaussian spatial process. Feedback policies are computed for a variety of example dynamic optimization problems in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this methodology. This feedback synthesis approach is found to combine good numerical accuracy with low computational overhead, making it a suitable candidate for real-time applications. Particle swarm and universal kriging are combined for a capstone example, a near optimal, near-admissible, full-state feedback control law is computed and tested for the heat-load-limited atmospheric-turn guidance of an aeroassisted transfer vehicle. The performance of this explicit guidance scheme is found to be very promising; initial errors in atmospheric entry due to simulated thruster misfirings are found to be accurately corrected while closely respecting the algebraic state-inequality constraint.
Issue Date:2014-01-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Pradipto Ghosh
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-16
Date Deposited:2013-12

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