NMJAS 2022 Senior Division First Place Award
DEVELOPING A CONTROL ALGORITHM AND SIMULATION FOR THRUST VECTOR CONTROLLED ROCKETS
Andres Iturregui and Daniel Kim
In the past five years, SpaceX has revolutionized the aerospace industry by introducing a new rocket that can propulsively land. At the heart of these rockets, and virtually all orbital and suborbital spacecraft is thrust vector control (TVC). The purpose of this project was to develop a robust and versatile control algorithm for TVC rockets and to validate this control system using a simulation and a real-life model of a powered model rocket with TVC capabilities. The simulation was able to recreate a rocket’s flight based on physical aspects such as the mass moment of inertia, thrust of the engine, drag coefficient, and the control authority of the thrust vector control mount. The real-life model validated the simulation after cross-referencing the simulation results to data collected from the actual flight. Using these models, a control system and simulation capabilities for use on different rockets were developed.