Development and application of a gradient method for solving differential games

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1971 - Education - 46 pages
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A technique for solving n-dimensional games is developed and applied to two pursuit-evasion games. The first is a two-dimensional game similar to the homicidal chauffeur but modified to resemble an airplane-helicopter engagement. The second is a five-dimensional game of two airplanes at constant altitude and with thrust and turning controls. The performance function to be optimized by the pursuer and evader was the distance between the evader and a given target point in front of the pursuer. The analytic solution to the first game reveals that both unique and nonunique solutions exist. A comparison between the gradient results and the analytic solution shows a dependence on the nominal controls in regions where nonunique solutions exist. In the unique solution region, the results from the two methods agree closely. The results for the five-dimensional two-airplane game are also shown to be dependent on the nominal controls selected and indicate that initial conditions are in a region of nonunique solutions.

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