TECS-Based Generic Autopilot Control Laws for Aircraft Mission Simulation

Mission simulation involves automated simulation of complete aircraft flights or flight segments in order to assess over-all metrics like block fuel, flight times and total emissions. This contribution presents a fully automated mission simulation environment that may be used in flight trajectory as well as aircraft or engine design optimisation loops. To this end, the environment covers the complete process, from integration of a flight dynamics model for the given aircraft configuration to simulation and assessment of all metrics of interest. The aircraft is usually represented by a point-mass, which is guided along 3D trajectories by means of generic autopilot guidance control laws based on the Total Heading and Total Energy Control Systems (THCS and TECS). These control structures elegantly accommodate all speed and path-related autopilot modes, control priorities, performance and protection limits and do not require aircraft-specific gain tuning. This paper discusses the mission simulation environment, the implementation of TECS / THCS herein, as well as example applications on dissimilar aircraft and missions types.