Optimized Space Shuttle 1st Stage Guidance Targets

This project researched the application of Sequential Simplex Optimization and Experimental Design concepts to the problem of optimizing some of the target values used in the Space Shuttle first stage guidance subsystem. Shuttle first stage employs “open-loop” guidance, essentially flying an attitude profile based on current speed. I first found the optimum targeting values and then modeled the response surface area around the optimum. Modeling the area (the response surface) around the optimum is critical because engineers must know how performance is impacted by minor targeting variations.

Optimized Space Shuttle First Stage Guidance Targets paper (pdf)