A Novel Approach to Stabilize
the Re-Entry Path of a Space Shuttle
Stability and robustness are fundamental design requirements of any control system. Consequently, stability analysis is a vital stage in the design and development process of a control system; it not only provides information about the stability of the system, it also gives insight into the operating conditions that affect the stability of the system. In the case of identifying the control parameters required to stabilize the re-entry path of a space shuttle into the earth’s atmosphere, most control engineers typically apply a brute-force trial-and-error approach despite the existence of advanced methods, such as one developed by Chang and Han in 1989 that follows a more systematic approach. Although it is extremely precise, this method has not gained much popularity due to the difficult nature of the equations and the inability of traditional software to solve the equations symbolically, but is now possible with modern software tools.