Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Donald R. Kunz, PhD


The coordinated arrival time problem seeks to control a vehicle's trajectory to achieve some pre-defined final state at a desired arrival time. The persistent monitoring problem is a type of coordinated arrival problem where a stationary or moving ground target must be constantly observed by a group of aircraft. This research simplifies the problem to overfly the target at specific time intervals relative to the other aircraft in the group while increasing the difficulty of the problem by considering aircraft traveling at vastly different airspeeds. The result of this research is a real time guidance algorithm which accurately guides a group of airspeed heterogeneous aircraft to achieve a desired relative arrival time, predictable flight path, and accounts for varying wind conditions, keep-out zones, and non-cooperative targets. A wide variety of scenarios were evaluated with aircraft ranging in speed from 174 knots to 511 knots. However, a notable scenario utilizing a nonlinear fighter aircraft model demonstrated the algorithm’s ability to guide a group of four aircraft to achieve the desired time spacing to within 0.1 seconds in a scenario with 160 knot winds, a target moving at 102 knots, keep-out zones, and moderate wind turbulence.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number