Hardware in Loop Simulation for Missile Guidance and Control Systems

  • S. K. Chaudhuri Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad
  • G. Venkatachalam Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad
  • M. Prabhakar Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad.
Keywords: Guidance and control system, Seeker dynamics, Hardware in loop simulation, Tactical missiles, Guided missiles, Missile flight path dynamics


The purpose of the guidance law is to determine appropriate missile flight path dynamics to achieve mission objective in an efficient manner based on navigation information. Today, guided missiles which are aerodynamically unstable or non-linear in all or part of the flight envelopes need control systems for stability as well as for steering. Many classical guidance and control laws have been used for tactical missiles with varying degrees of performance, complexity and seeker/sensor requirements. Increased accuracy requirements and more dynamic tactics of modern warfare demand improvement of performance which is a trade-off between sophisticated hardware and more sophisticated software. To avoid increase in cost by hardware sophistication, today's trend is to exploit new theoretical methods and low cost high speed microprocessor techniques. Missile test flights are very expensive. The missile system with its sophisticated software and hardware is not reusable after a test launch. Hardware-in-loop Simulation (HILS) facilities and methodology form a well integrated system aimed at transforming a preliminary guidance and control system design to flight software and hardware with trajectory right from lift-off till its impact. Various guidance and control law studies pertaining to gathering basket and stability margins, pre-flight, post-flight analyses and validation of support systems have been carried out using this methodology. Nearly full spectrum of dynamically accurate six-degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) model of missile systems has been realised in the HILS scenario. The HILS facility allows interconnection of missile hardware in flight configuration. Pre-flight HILS results have matched fairly well with actual flight trial results. It was possible to detect many hidden defects in the onboard guidance and control software as well as in hardware during HILS. Deficiencies in model, like tail-wag-dog (TWD), flexibility, seeker dynamics and defects in the guidance and control system were demonstrated in HILS. Appropriate design modifications were introduced and tested in record time to reduce the number of expensive flight trials.

Author Biographies

S. K. Chaudhuri, Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad
Dr SK Chaudhuri obtained his BE from Jadavpur University, Calcutta anb MTech from Indian Institute Technology, Madras. He was awarded Commonwealth Scholarship or PhD on Aerospace Electronics Systems with Right Control System specialisation from Cranfield Institute of Technology, United Kingdom in 1985. Presently, he is the Head, Control and Guidance Software Intergration Division at the RCI. He is actively involved in real-timd HILS, flight software design for missile systems. His main contribution was the development of refll-time onboard computer software for closed-loop strapped-down Prithvi missile,system. All the missile's of the Integrated Guided Missiles Development Programm'1 have undergone HILS under his leadership. He includedhigher order flexibility model in real-time simulation and introduced seeker systems in HILS. His current interests are estimation and filtering techniques for missile guidance, guidance system engineering, seeker head simulation, expert systems, neural networks and virtual reality rpplications. He received Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research Award (1993-94) for his achievements in the field of electronics, informatics, telematics and automation. He has a number of research papers and technical reports to his credit. He is a member of IEEE, Computer Society of India and a specialist member of the Aeronautical Research & Development Board System Panel and Review
Board Member of LCA and PTA.

G. Venkatachalam, Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad
Shri  G Venkatachalam, Scientist E, obtained his BTech (Electrical Engineering) from the Regional Engineering College, Warangal and MTech (Computer Science and Engineering) from Osmania  University, Hyderabad. Presently, he is working at the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad. he has been actively involved in the area of real-time flight software development and hardware-in-Ioop simulation for missile systems since 1983. His main contribution was in the development of real-time software for Prithvi. His current interests are neural networks and virtual reality applications to hardware-in-Ioop simulation. He is a member of IEEE Computer  Society.
M. Prabhakar, Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad.
Shri M Prabhakar obtained his BE from Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications, New Delhi. He is working as Scientist D at RCI, Hyderabad. He has been actively involved in the areas of hardware interfacing and testing, and hardware-in-Ioop simulation (HILS) for missile systems since 1986. His main contribution was in planning and establishing hardware-in-Ioop simulation facility. The current areas of his research include extending the HILS for missile seeker and moving target dynbmic engagement scenario along with powerful simulation computers and upgrading the HiLS facility to match state-of-the-art technology.
How to Cite
Chaudhuri, S., Venkatachalam, G., & Prabhakar, M. (2013). Hardware in Loop Simulation for Missile Guidance and Control Systems. Defence Science Journal, 47(3), 343-357. https://doi.org/10.14429/dsj.47.4016
Armaments & Explosives