A novel guidance algorithm for launch vehicle ascent to the desired mission orbit is proposed. The algorithm uses total specific energy and orbital angular momentum as new state vector parameters. These parameters are ideally suited for the ascent guidance task, since the guidance algorithm steers the launch vehicle along a pre-flight optimal trajectory in energy angular momentum space. The guidance algorithm targets apogee, perigee, inclination and right ascension of ascending node. Computational complexities are avoided by eliminating time in the guidance computation and replacing it with angular momentum magnitude. As a result, vehicle acceleration, mass, thrust, length of motor burns, and staging times are also eliminated from the pitch plane guidance calculations. The algorithm does not involve launch vehicle or target state propagation, which results in minimal computational effort. Proof of concept of the new algorithm is presented using several numerical examples that illustrate performance results.
Patera, R. P. (2015). Energy angular momentum closed-loop guidance. Advances in Space Research, 55(5), 1495–1511. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2014.12.019