This article illustrates a novel approach for the determination of time-optimal controls for dynamic systems under observance of end conditions. Such problems arise in robotics, e.g. if the control of a robot has to be designed such that the time for a rest-to-rest maneuver becomes a minimum. So far, such problems have been considered as two-point boundary value problems, which are hard to solve and require an initial guess close to the optimal solution. The aim of this contribution is the development of an iterative, gradient based solution strategy for solving such problems. As an example, a Moon-landing as in the Apollo program, will be considered. In detail, we discuss the ascent, descent and abort maneuvers of the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) to and from the Moon’s surface in minimum time. The goal is to find the control of the thrust nozzle of the LEM to minimize the final time.

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