Aerospace Trajectory Planning and Guidance

Course #AE4881

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


Same as ME4881. This course covers the theory, computation and practical implementation of integrated trajectory planning and guidance algorithms for aerospace vehicles. The theory is based on the next generation of dynamical systems in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Examples will be drawn from a sample of DoD problems in space systems, missile engineering and small munitions. After a review of the state of practice, a unified theoretical framework for solving practically constrained trajectory problems will be developed. The Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions will form the foundations of constraint violation and validating optimality conditions. Multiplier theory and its use in solving practical problems will be covered from a real-time computational viewpoint. No-fly zones and engineering requirements will be formulated as a mathematical mixture of state and decision-variable constraints. Extensive MATLAB-based mini-projects will form the core of the laboratory experience. These projects are designed for students to learn the process of constructing a flyable trajectory planning algorithm from first principles to an integrated guidance system.


  • AE4850
  • ME4703
  • ME4822
Offerings database access
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Application Deadlines

  •  25 Sep 2023

    Winter quarter applications due

  •  08 Jan 2024

    Spring Quarter applications due

  •  01 Apr 2024

    Summer Quarter applications due

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Academic Calendar

  •  25 Sep 2023

    Fall Quarter instruction begins

  •  09 Oct 2023

    Columbus Day (holiday)

  •  24 Oct 2023

    Shift day: treat as Friday class schedule

See NPS Academic Calendar for more dates.