Controlling a Finless Rocket Through Neuroevolution
Active from 2002 - 2003
Neuroevolution is a powerful method for constructing controllers for nonlinear domains. In this project, the ESP neuroevolution approach is applied to a particular challenging such domain in the real world, controlling a rocket that has no fins. Without fins, the rocket has less drag and flies higher but is unstable. The task for neuroevolution is to learn how to control the amount of thrust in the rocket's four engines to keep it stable. The controller is evolved for the Interorbital Systems, Inc. RSX-2 sounding rocket, using the same simulator, JSBSim, that the industry uses to test new rocket and controller designs. The resulting controller keeps the rocket as stable as the finned version, while flying it 20 miles higher. ESP neuroevolution is therefore an effective method for solving real-world, non-linear control tasks.

See rocket control movie page for a demo.

Faustino Gomez Postdoctoral Alumni tino [at] idsia ch
Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu
Active Guidance for a Finless Rocket Using Neuroevolution 2003
Faustino J. Gomez and Risto Miikkulainen, In Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, pp. 2084-2095, San Francisco 2003. Morgan Kaufmann.
Robust Non-Linear Control through Neuroevolution 2003
Faustino J. Gomez, PhD Thesis, Department of Computer Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
ESP JAVA 1.1 The ESP package contains the source code for the Enforced Sup-Populations system written in Java. This package is a near... 2002

ESP C++ The ESP package contains the source code for the Enforced Sup-Populations system written in C++. ESP is an extension t... 2000

Finless Rocket ControlFaustino Gomez2003