Reinforcement learning for angle-only intercept guidance of maneuvering targets

Brian Gaudet, Roberto Furfaro, Richard Linares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


We present a novel guidance law that uses observations consisting solely of seeker line-of-sight angle measurements and their rate of change. The policy is optimized using reinforcement meta-learning and demonstrated in a simulated terminal phase of a mid-course exo-atmospheric interception. Importantly, the guidance law does not require range estimation, making it particularly suitable for passive seekers. The optimized policy maps stabilized seeker line-of-sight angles and their rate of change directly to commanded thrust for the missile's divert thrusters. Optimization with reinforcement meta-learning allows the optimized policy to adapt to target acceleration, and we demonstrate that the policy performs better than augmented zero-effort miss guidance with perfect target acceleration knowledge. The optimized policy is computationally efficient and requires minimal memory, and should be compatible with today's flight processors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105746
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Exo-atmospheric Intercept
  • Missile terminal guidance
  • Passive seeker
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Reinforcement meta-learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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