Innovative GNC Design of Epsilon Rocket

Yasuhiro Morita, Hirohito Ohtsuka, and Kensaku Tanaka


Guidance and control, Control theory, Launch vehicle


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had the first flight of the Epsilon solid fuel launch vehicle successfully in September 2013 to carry a space telescope satellite SPRINT-A. The concept of the vehicle, the next generation launch system, requires a simpler launch system and better user friendly interface than ever in order to provide small satellites with a responsive and versatile launch. Such innovation significantly affects the architecture of the guidance and control system of the rocket. To do that, we made the attitude control of the first and second stage rockets highly robust and applied the rhumb-line control concept and the long-time velocity increment cut-off (LVIC) guidance law to the upper stage vehicles for the first time ever in the world. This paper describes the novel design of the guidance and control system of the Epsilon rocket.

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