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When Bad Things Happen To Good Missiles

Paul Zarchan* Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
Abstract

Normalized miss distance curvesfor a generic proportional navigation guidance system are developed to show how a missile is influenced by late target resolution. Rules of thumb are developed relating the necessary ratio of the time left for homing after resolution has taken place to the missile guidance system time constant. The influence of the finite acceleration capability of the interceptor on the resultant miss is also quantified. Suggestions for alleviating the guidance system problem are presented.
Introduction In endoatmospheric and exoatmospheric engagements there may be an instantaneous apparent shift in target position which can cause unacceptable degradation in homing missile performance. For example, in endoatmospheric tactical radar homing missiles, the interceptor may be guiding on the power centroid of two aircraft flying in close formation. When one of the aircraft falls outside the missile seeker beam, the other aircraft will be resolved. In this case it appears to the pursuing interceptor that the target has instantaneously shifted from the location of the power centroid to the location of the resolved aircraft. In other words, there has been an apparent step change in target position. Similarly. a strategic exoatmospheric missile may be homing on one of two closely spaced objects. After a while discrimination takes place and the interceptor software may conclude that one object is a decoy while the second object is the real target. In this case too, as far as the missile is concerned, it appears as if the target has instantaneously changed position (from first object or decoy to second object). In both preceding examples the target displacement disturbance occurs late in the flight which is the worst possible time from a missile guidance system point of view. Large miss distances may result because of insufficient remaining homing time and the finite acceleration capability of the interceptor. This paper will *Principal Member of Technical Staff develop normalized design curves for a generic proportional navigation guidance system to both illustrate and quantify the magnitude of the potential guidance system problem. Rules of thumb will be developed relating the necessary ratio of the time left for homing after resolution has taken place to the guidance system time constant and the miss due to the apparent shift in target location. The influence of the finite acceleration capability of the interceptor on the resultant miss will be quantified. Suggestions for alleviating the guidance system problem will also be presented. Important Closed-Form Solution Figure 1 presents the simplest possible proportional navigation homing loop. In this perfect guidance system, models of the seeker. noise filter, guidance, and flight control systems have been considered to be perfect and without dynamics. Such a block diagram is known as a zero-lag guidance system or homing loop. The miss distance will always be zero in a zero-lag proportional navigation homing loop.

Associate Fellow A I M
Copyright O 1993 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Figure 1 Simplest Possible Proportional Navigation Guidance Homing Loop

In Fig. 1 missile acceleration nL is subtracted from target acceleration nT to form a relative acceleration. After two integrations we have relative position y, which at the end of the flight (t=t~) is the miss distance [MisS=y(t~)]. A division by range (or the closing velocity Vc multiplied by the time to go until intercept t o) yields the geometric line-of-sight angle A. h e time to go is defined as

where C1 is the constant of integration. Substitution of the line-of-sight angle definition from Fig. 1 into the preceding expression yields the following linear time-varying fmt-order differential equation

Since a linear fust-order differential equation of the form where t is the current time and t~ is the total flight time. The missile seeker, which is represented in Fig. 1 as a perfect differentiator, attempts to track the target. Effectively the seeker takes the derivative of the geometric line-of-sight angle, thus providing a measurement of the line-of-sight rate. The guidance system noise filter must process the noisy line-of-sight rate output of the seeker in order to provide a more accurate estimate of the linesf-sight rate. A guidance command n, is generated from the noise filter output. From Fig. 1 we can see that it has been assumed that the acceleration command obeys the proportional navigation guidance law or

has the solution

we can solve the relative trajectory differential equation exactly. An instantaneous step in target displacement means that the initial condition on the first state y is the value of the displacement or

where N' is a designer chosen constant known as the effective navigation ratio. The flight control system (which is represented by unity gain in Fig. 1) must cause the missile to maneuver in such a way that the achieved acceleration n~ matches the desired acceleration command nc. Let us consider obtaining the closed-form so~utionl*~ for the required missile trajectory and acceleration for the case in which there are no guidance system dynamics and there is an apparent step in target displacement YTIC.In the absence of other error sources such as target maneuver and heading error, the relative acceleration (target acceleration minus missile acceleration) can be
=pressed=

Under these circumstances, after much algebra, we find that the closed-form solution for the relative separation between missile and target y and the missile acceleration nc due to a step in target displacement are given by

N'(1--

t t~

N'-2

'tic

Integrating the preceding differential equation once yields

From the relative separation expression we can see that the miss distance y(tF) in a zero-lag guidance system is always zero! In addition, from the acceleration formula we observe that the magnitude of the initial missile

acceleration is proportional to the size of the target displacement and inversely proportional to the square of the flight time. Doubling the apparent target displacement will double the initial missile acceleration, whereas doubling the flight time or time remaining after the apparent target displacement occurred will quarter the initial missile acceleration. Of course, if the acceleration required by the preceding formula is not available there may be a significant miss distance. The closed-form solution for the missile acceleration response due to a step in target displacement is displayed in normalized form in Fig. 2. We can see that higher effective navigation ratios increase the acceleration requirements at the beginning of flight (when resolution occurs) and reduce the requirements towards the end of the flight. Figure 2 indicates that the missile acceleration is always monotonically decreasing as the flight progresses (i.e., more acceleration is needed at the beginning of the flight than at the end of the flight). From a system sizing point of view, the designer usually wants to ensure that the acceleration capability of the missile is adequate at the beginning of flight so that saturation can be avoided. For a fixed missile acceleration capability, Fig. 2 shows how requirements are placed on the minimum guidance or flight time required after final resolution (or the time remaining after the apparent step in target displacement occurs) and maximum allowable target displacement.

power centroid of the two aircraft. At the point where one of the aircraft falls outside the seeker beam, resolution takes place and it appears to the missile that the aircraft has been instantaneously displaced a distance YTIC. If the missile and aircraft are traveling at constant speed with closing velocity Vc, the missile will be a distance of V c t ~ from the power centroid at the point of resolution. As before, t~ is the time remaining for guidance after &ker resolution.

<- ---7\- - - - II Power Centroid

'

Figure 3 Multiple Target Geometry From trigonometry we can see that the seeker beamwidth is related to the aircraft displacement according to

Using the small angle approximation and solving for the effective time remaining for guidance after seeker resolution we get

If a seeker has a beamwidth of .1 rad (nearly 6 deg), the two targets are separated by 400 ft and the closing velocity is 4000 ft/sec, the time remaining for guidance after resolution will be 1 sex or Figure 2 Normalized Missile Acceleration Due To Step In Target Displacement In order to illustrate the use of the normalized acceleration curves of Fig. 2 let us consider a numerical example involving the classical multiple target problem.2 Figure 3 shows two aircraft flying in formation being pursued by a missile. Initially both aircraft are close enough so that the missile with seeker beamwidth BW homes on the

Assuming that the missile effective navigation ratio is 3. we can see from either the formula for missile acceleration or the normalized acceleration curves of Fig. 2 that the maximum acceleration occurs at the time of resolution and is given by

nc

MAX

=-=-

3 ' 200 = 600 ftlsec2

-2

'F

2 1

This means that the missile will require nearly 2 0g of acceleration to hit the resolved target when the aircraft formation spacing is 400 ft, the missile seeker beamwidth is approximately 6 deg and the closing velocity is 4000 ft/sec. Single Time Constant Guidance System We have observed from the closed-form solutions that if the missile has sufficieni acceleration capability and there are no guidance system dynamics, the apparent shift in target location will not cause any miss distance. Guidance system dynamics will of course contribute to the miss distance. If all of the guidance system dynamics can be lumped together as a single time constant T then the original guidance system block diagram of Fig. 1 is modified and is redrawn in Fig. 4.
Miss -

'TIC

= e N*-5

-X

(1-4x+3x

2 2x

-+3 24
x

where

The ratio of the flight time to the guidance system time constant x is often refmed to as the number of guidance time constants. The various closed-form solutions for the miss distance are displayed in normalized form in Fig. 5. We can see that if the ratio of the flight time to the guidance system time constant is greater than 5 then the miss distance is virtually zero. Therefore we can say that for a single time constant guidance system the miss is effectively zero after 5 guidance time constants.

u
Guidanca Synem Dynamics

Figure 4 Single-Lag Guidance System In this interceptor guidance system model, the single time constant represents the combined dynamics of the seeker, noise filter, and flight control system. Closed-form solutions for the miss distance due to a step in target displacement can be derived for a single time constant guidance system using the adjoint technique.1*2*3The miss distances for different effective navigation ratios for a single time constant guidance system can be shown to be

Figure 5 First-Order Normalized M i s s For A Step In Target Displacement If we consider the same example of the previous section where there was no miss distance, the importance of guidance system dynamics and the normalized curves of Fig. 5 can be demonstrated. For a 200 ft target displacement (equivalent to 400 ft aircraft separation), 1 sec of effective flight time and an overall guidance system time constant of .5

see (T=.5), the number of guidance time constants is 2 (t~/'T=1/.5=2)and the corresponding miss distance for different effective navigation ratios can be computed from Fig. 5 as

= - .14'200 = 28ft Miss N'=3

Miss =-.05'200=- loft N'=4

Miss

N'=5

= .05'200= loft

Thus we can see that a non-zero guidance system time constant causes miss distance A positive miss distance means that the missile is between the target and power centroid while a negative miss distance means the missile is above the target. Therefore, if the effective navigation ratio is 3, -28 ft of miss means that the missile missed the target it was homing on by 28 ft and the second target by 428 ft (400 + 28 = 428). We can see from Fig. 5 that if the missile time constant can be halved or if the seeker beamwidth can be halved then the number of guidance time constants is doubled to 4 (tFD=1/.25=2/.5=4) and the miss will be reduced. The formulas and curves indicate that large ratios of flight time to guidance system time constant yield small or near zero miss distances whereas small ratios of flight time to guidance system time constant can yield large miss distances. Higher Order Guidance System Dynamics We have just seen that guidance system dynamics will contribute to the miss distance. We chose a single time constant representation of the guidance system because closed-form solutions for the miss distance could be derived. The single time constant approximation to a missile guidance system is useful because the resultant closed-form solutions suggest normalization factors for the miss distance. However the single time constant representation of the guidance system also seriously underestimates the miss distance. A much better and convenient representation of a missile guidance system transfer function is a canonic fifth-order binomial given by3*4

where T is the total guidance system time constant, n~ is the achieved missile acceleration and h is the line-of-sight angle. In this generic interceptor guidance system model, one time constant represents Ihe seeker, another represents the noise filter, and the other three time constants represent the flight control system dynamics (aerodynamics plus autopilot). It is easy to show that with this canonic guidance system model the overall guidance system time constant is simply the sum of the five individual time constants or T. The fifth-order binomial missile homing loop is shown in block diagram form in Fig. 6.

Gvldance System bynamla

Figure 6 Fifth-Order Binomial Guidance System Normalized miss distance curves for different effective navigation ratios are presented in Fig. 7 for the fifth-order binomial guidance system in the case where the missile has infinite acceleration capability. By comparing Figs. 5 and 7 we can conclude that in general the miss distances for the higher order system are much larger. In addition, Fig. 7 also shows that the ratio of the flight time t~ (or time remaining after the apparent step in target displacement has occurred) to the guidance system time constant T must now be greater than 10 (for the single time constant system the number of guidance time constants had to be greater than 5) for there to be negligible miss distance. If the number of guidance time constants is less than 10 it is really a matter of luck as to how large the miss distance will be. Luck is involved because the point at which resolution occurs for a specific engagement is random. In addition, we can see from Fig. 7 that the final miss may even be larger

than the original displacement (i.e., cases where normalized miss is less than -1).

is doubled to 4 (tF/T= 1/.25=2/.5=4) considerably reducing the miss or

thus

= 565 ' 200 = 113 ft Miss N'=4

Figure 7 Fifth-Order Normalized Miss For A Step In Target Displacement If we consider the same example of the previous section, where the miss distances were smaller, the importance of higher order guidance system a n be seen to be even more important. dynamics c For a 200 ft target displacement (equivalent to 400 ft aircraft separation), 1 sec of effective flight time (tF=l) and an overall guidance system time constant of .5 sec (T=.5), the number of guidance time constants is 2 (tF/T=1/.5=2) and the corresponding miss distance for different effective navigation ratios can be computed from Fig. 7 as

Therefore we can see that the ratio of the flight time remaining after resolution has occurred to the guidance system time constant is critical in determining the expected miss distance. Acceleration Saturation We have observed in the previous two sections that both the guidance system dynamics and effective navigation ratio play an important role in determining the miss distance due to a step in target displacement. The finite acceleration capability of the interceptor is also important in determining the miss distance. Normalized miss distance curves can also be developed when missile acceleration saturation effects are considered. In this case it is hypothesized that miss distance normalization factors remain unchanged but new curves have to be developed for the nondimensional ratio

Miss

= -1.44 ' 200 = -288ft N1=5

Note that these miss distances are an order of magnitude greater than those of the single time constant guidance system! Thus we can see that the miss distances can be enormous and in fact (for cases in which the effective navigation ratio was 4 or 5) even greater than the original apparent target displacement. For example, if the effective navigation ratio is 4, -238 ft of miss means that the missile missed the resolved target (target it was homing on) by 238 ft and the unresolved target (second target) by 638 ft (400 + 238 = 638). If the missile time constant can be halved or if the seeker beamwidth can be halved then the number of guidance time constants

where ~ L I M is the value of the acceleration limit. For a fixed level of target displacement and guidance system time constant, a missile with more limited acceleration capability (smaller acceleration limit ~ L I Mhas ) a smaller ratio. Using the preceding ratio and the normalization factors for miss due to a step in target displacement, we can derive normalized miss distance curves by the method of brute force. In other words, we can generate normalized miss distance curves by simulating all of the possibilities. We can then infer performance by making extrapolations from the normalized miss distance ~ u r v e s . ~ Of ,~ course detailed checks have been made to ensure that the normalization factors are correct. Figure 8 through 10 presents the normalized miss distances due to a

step target displacement for effective navigation ratios ranging from three to five respectively. As expected, we can see that less missile acceleration capability (ratio smaller) requires more guidance system time constants to move from the power centroid (normalized miss is one) to the resolved target (normalized miss is zero). On the other hand, we can also see that missiles with less acceleration capability have less of a tendency to overshoot the target (less negative normalized miss) since there is less energy available. In other words, if the number of guidance time constants is less than ten, it is possible for a missile with less acceleration capability to have a smaller miss distance than a missile with a larger acceleration capability! We can also see by comparing the normalized curves of Figs. 8-10 that larger effective navigation ratios tend to increase the number of guidance time constants required for the miss to approach zero (i.e., approximately six guidance time constants are required for N'=3 and ten guidance time constants are required for N=5).

wT

10

Figure 9 Normalized Miss Due To Saturation and Target Displacement For An Effective Navigation Ratio of 4

5th Order Syslern, H 3

Figure 10 Normalized Miss Due To Saturation and Target Displacement For An Effective Navigation Ratio of 5 In order to demonstrate the use of the normalized curves of Figs 8-10 let us again consider the same example of the previous section where there was an apparent 200 ft step target displacement (equivalent to 400 ft aircraft separation), 1 sec of effective flight time and an overall guidance system time constant of .5 sec (T=.5). In this case the number of guidance time constants is still 2 (tF/T=1/.5=2)and the corresponding miss distance for an effective navigation ratio of 3 and different values of missile acceleration limits can be read from the normalized curves of Fig. 8. For exam le, if the missile acceleration limit is 320 fi/sec (9.9 g ) then the ratio can be computed as

Figure 8 Normalized Miss Due To Saturation and Target Displacement For An Effective Navigation Ratio of 3

.5n
Ratio =

LIM

- .5

320 ' .5 200

2
=. 2

'TIC

Therefore for 2 guidance time constants the normalized miss corresponding to a ratio of .2 can be read from Fig. 8 as .6. We can calculate the actual miss distance for this example to be

bctter miss distance performance against a step in target displacement Alleviating The Problem With Time To Go Information So far we have seen that the apparent step in target displacement causes a transient problem in the missile guidance system such that the final miss distance may be larger than the initial apparent target displacement. In other words, it might have been better if the missile continued to home on the power centroid! If both time to go information and intelligent on-board missile software are available, it is possible to soften the effects of the apparent step in target displacement. For example, intelligent missile software may conclude there has been an apparent shift in target displacement but the software does not have to permit the interceptor to respond to the apparent step in target displacement immediately. Instead, a time-varying bias can be added to the line-of-sight angle in order for the missile to think that the target displacement is either a ramp or a parabola. In this case the ramp or parabola reaches the full displacement value at the end of the flight (not the start of resolution). In other words we can lie to the guidance system so that the interceptor thinks the displacement is actually of the form
t Y 3 Y TRAMP TIC t F

Increasing the missile acceleration limit to 800 ft/sec2 (24.8 g) increases the ratio to .5 or .5n Ratio = T LIM

'

- .5 '800

.5

2
= .5

Therefore for 2 guidance time constants the normalized miss corresponding to a ratio of .5 can be read from Fig. 8 as 0 . In this case the actual miss distance is zero or

Increasing the missile acceleration limit again to 1600 ft/sec2 (49.7 g) increases the ratio to 1 or
.5n
Ratio =

T LIM

- .5

1600 .5

2 =1

Therefore for 2 guidance time constants the normalized miss corresponding to a ratio of 1 can be read from Fig. 8 as -.6. The actual miss distance for this example is simply

Finally, if the missile had infinite acceleration capability the ratio would be infinity. For 2 guidance time constants the normalized miss corresponding to infinite ratio can be read from Fig. 8 as -3. Therefore the actual miss distance for a missile with infinite acceleration capability increases to Miss, G = -.8 * 200 = -160 Ft Thus we can see that a missile with more acceleration capability does not necessarily have

where t=0 denotes the beginning of resolution and t~ is the end of the flight. The effectiveness of softening the apparent step change in target displacement can be observed if we examine again the case in which there is a 200 ft apparent target displacement for a .5 sec guidance system time constant and an effective navigation ratio of 3 in a fifth-order binomial proportional navigation guidance system. Figure 11 shows how the miss distance varies for the strategies in which we let the guidance system see either a step (this was the only case considered until now), ramp or parabola in apparent target displacement. To simplify matters we have assumed that the

interceptor has infinite acceleraticn capability. We can see from Fig. 1 1 that when the apparent target displacement is a step the missile overshoots the target (negative miss) for flight times longer than . 8 sec. Approximately 4 sec .6 sec and less than 1 of flight time (8 guidance time constants) are required for the miss to stay near zero. When the displacement disturbance takes the form of a ramp, it takes more flight time for the missile to overshoot the target (approximately 1 . 2 sec) but now only 3.5 sec of flight time (7 guidance time constants) are required for the miss to stay near zero. A parabolic target displacement never overshoots the target and only 3 sec of flight time (6 guidance time constants) are required for the miss to stay near zero.

2 3 Right Time (Sec)

Figure 12 Increasing Navigation Ratio Reduces Flight Time Requirements For Parabolic Target Displacement Summary This paper presents normalized miss distance curves showing the designer how to calculate the miss distance due to an apparent step in target displacement. The importance of guidance system dynamics and missile acceleration saturation effects are illustrated with additional design curves and examples. A method for softening the target displacement effects on the guidance system is introduced.

flight Time (Sec)

Figure 11 There Is Less Overshoot For Higher Order Target Displacements If small miss distances rather than near zero miss distances are required, then the minimum required flight time for the parabolic displacement can also be reduced by increasing the effective 2 that all navigation ratio. We can see from Fig. 1 target displacement miss distance responses are faster when the effective navigation ratio is increased but the parabolic displacement has the least overshoot.

References

1 Bennett, R. R., and Mathews, W. E., "Analytical Determination of Miss Distance For Linear in^ Navigation Systems," Hughes Aircraft Co., Culver City, CA, TN-260,March 1952. Travers, P., Interceptor Dynamics. 2 unpublished lecture notes, Raytheon Co., circa 1971 . 3 Zarchan, P., Tactical and Strategic Missile Guidance, Volume 124,Progress In Aeronautics and Astronautics, published by A I M , Washington, DC. 1990 Nesline., F. W., and Zarchan, P., "Miss 4 Distance Dynamics in Homing Missiles," Proceedings of AIAA Guidance and Control Conference, AIM, New York, Aug. 1984. 5 Shinar, J., and Steinberg. D., "Analysis of Optimal Evasive Maneuvers Based On A Linearized Two-Dimensional Model," Journal ofAircrafi, Vol. 14,Aug. 1977,pp. 795-802.