Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Richard G. Cobb, PhD


To support the Global Strike mission, an autonomous trajectory optimization technique is presented to minimize the flight time, satisfy terminal and intermediate constraints, and remain within the specifed vehicle heating and control limitations. "Waypoints" are specifed for reconnaissance or multiple payload deployments and "no-fy zones" are specifed for geopolitical restrictions or threat avoidance. The Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV) is used as a simplifed two-dimensional platform to compare multiple solution techniques. The solution techniques include a unique geometric approach, an analytical dynamic optimization technique, and a numerical approach. This numerical technique is a direct solution method involving pseudospectral methods and nonlinear programming to converge to the optimal solution. The Common Aero Vehicle (CAV) is used as the test platform for the full three-dimensional reentry trajectory optimization problem. The culmination of this research is the veriication of the optimality of this proposed numerical technique, as shown for both the two-dimensional and three-dimensional models. Lastly, user implementation strategies are presented to improve accuracy and enhance solution convergence.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number