A discrete search strategy is presented to determine optimal aircraft trajectories which can be unconstrained or regulated to follow current Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures. The heuristic based Astar (A*) search algorithm has been selected for its efficiency and its inherent ability to handle numerous constraints as a discrete method. A point-mass aircraft model is assumed to accurately simulate commercial aircraft dynamics for the provided trajectories. The two dimensional space and the states of aircraft have been divided into discrete pieces. To show the effectiveness of the algorithm, two-dimensional vertical and horizontal profile are simulated. Simulation results compare optimal trajectories that range from unconstrained to those that completely adhere to strict ATC procedures. Those trajectories following ATC procedures follow a segmented flight pattern where each segment follows specified objectives, terminating when certain criteria has been met.
Trajectories are optimized for a combination of time and fuel with an emphasis on reducing fuel consumption.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. July 2012. Major: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics. Advisor: Yiyuan J. Zhao. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 64 pages.
An efficient algorithm for commercial aircraft trajectory optimization in the air traffic system..
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