Structured Adaptive Model Inversion Controller for Mars Atmospheric Flight Conference Paper uri icon


  • The new vision for manned Mars exploration presents challenges that are critically different from past experiences with robotic missions. Safe precision landing requirements for manned missions make it necessary to fly a controlled entry trajectory, rather than the more robust ballistic entry trajectory traditionally used for robotic missions. Large variations and uncertainties in Mars atmospheric properties also pose a significant challenge. Model reference adaptive control has not been previously used for Mars entry control, but is an attractive candidate. It has an adaptation mechanism that reduces tracking errors in the presence of uncertain parameters such as atmospheric density, and vehicle properties such as aerodynamic coefficients and inertias. This paper develops and implements two different adaptive control systems for the Mars ellipsled vehicle, and evaluates them with non real-time simulation for Mars atmospheric flight from entry interface to parachute deployment. Results presented in the paper demonstrate that learning rates and other parameters can be tuned to obtain acceptable tracking performance during an entire entry trajectory. A Structured Adaptive Model Inversion controller that specifically adapts for atmospheric density variations, vehicle aerodynamic coefficients, and vehicle inertias is judged to be a promising candidate for a Mars entry vehicle controller.

name of conference

  • AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference and Exhibit

published proceedings

  • AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference and Exhibit

author list (cited authors)

  • Restrepo, C., & Valasek, J.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Restrepo, Carolina||Valasek, John

publication date

  • June 2007