G-Guidance Interface Design for Small Body Mission Simulation

The G-Guidance software implements a guidance and control (G&C) algorithm for small-body, autonomous proximity operations, developed under the Small Body GN&C task at JPL. The software is written in Matlab and interfaces with G-OPT, a JPL-developed optimization package written in C that provides G-Guidance with guaranteed convergence to a solution in a finite computation time with a prescribed accuracy. The resulting program is computationally efficient and is a prototype of an onboard, real-time algorithm for autonomous guidance and control.

Two thruster firing schemes are available in G-Guidance, allowing tailoring of the software for specific mission maneuvers. For example, descent, landing, or rendezvous benefit from a thruster firing at the maneuver termination to mitigate velocity errors. Conversely, ascent or separation maneuvers benefit from an immediate firing to avoid potential drift toward a second body. The guidance portion of this software explicitly enforces user-defined control constraints and thruster silence times while minimizing total fuel usage.

This program is currently specialized to small-body proximity operations, but the underlying method can be generalized to other applications.

This program was written by Behçet Açikmeşe, John Carson, and Linh Phan of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-44291.

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