Manual attitude control of the lunar module

Robert F. Stengel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


During critical phases of the Apollo mission, spacecraft attitude is manually controlled by the astronaut-pilot. In such instances, the pilot’s ability to perceive the state of his vehicle and to apply alternatives to the nominal control is an asset. The primary guidance, navigation, and control system (PGNCS) uses a digital control system, which is executed onatime-shared basis within the Lunar Guidance Computer. Control laws have scheduled gains, are nonlinear, and follow conditional paths within the computer. PGNCS manual attitude control using a rate command/attitude hold mode employs parallel logical paths for fast, precise rate response and for attitude hold about uncommanded axes. Improved handling qualities afford reduced control jet usage and miss distance during the landing. The LM's PGNCS holds promise for improvement of the spacecraft's handling qualities within the framework of fixedhardware and physical response. An advanced manual.control system, employing directional stability, coordinated turn capability, and attitude command, is outlined.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 1969
EventAIAA Guidance, Control, and Flight Mechanics Conference, 1969 - Princeton, United States
Duration: Aug 18 1969Aug 20 1969


ConferenceAIAA Guidance, Control, and Flight Mechanics Conference, 1969
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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