Arthur E. Bryson

Stanford University

Primary Section: 31, Engineering Sciences
Membership Type:
Emeritus (elected 1973)

Research Interests

As an aerospace engineering professor and consultant, I have studied the mechanics and control of spacecraft, aircraft, missiles, helicopters, and robots. In particular I have studied optimal flight paths (e.g., minimum time or minimum fuel flight paths) and optimal feedback control of flight paths and vehicle attitude. This involved adapting the classical calculus of variations to computers by developing algorithms for numerical solution of optimal control problems. One example of this work was the determination of the minimum time-to-climb control history for a supersonic jet fighter (the F4) in 1962, which substantially reduced the time to reach an altitude of 20 km and Mach 1 compared to the conventional approach at that time. I have also studied optimal estimation of the state of dynamic systems using sensor measurements that contain errors which follows on the work of Einstein, Wiener, Kalman, and others in this area.

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