This module can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

This course provides students with an understanding of the principles, methods and design of guided weapon autopilot and guidance systems and the interaction between autopilot, guidance and other missile sub-systems.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 14 - 18 Feb 2022
  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£2,070 - Short Course for Credit fee
    £1,750 - Standalone Short Course fee Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Design roll, altitude and lateral autopilot systems using closed loop control methods,
  • Design command, homing and navigation guidance systems using closed loop control methods,
  • Describe interaction between guidance, control and other key GW sub-systems.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the types of guidance techniques employed on modern guided weapons,
  • Understand the key components of missile autopilots and types of autopilot required by various guidance systems,
  • Understand the parametric relationship between guidance, control and other key guided weapon sub-systems


  • Analyse and critically evaluate the performance of guided weapon guidance and autopilot systems.

Core content

Introduction to missile control and guidance

  • introduction to closed loop control applied to guided weapon guidance, classification of guidance methods, autopilots and guidance loop performance requirementsinteraction between control, guidance and other key GW sub-systems.

Control and actuation methods:

  • aerodynamic control methods, flight stability and control surface positioning, thrust vector control (TVC), side thrusters and bonkers, pneumatic hydraulic and electric actuation systems.

Missile Instrumentation

  • control sensors, accelerometers, mechanical angle and rate gyroscopes, solid-state rate sensors, roll resolvers and altimeters.

Missile dynamics and autopilots

  • heading and velocity control, missile lateral, roll and altitude dynamics, lateral roll and altitude autopilots design and application of state space, root-locus and frequency response methods to autopilot design.

Homing guidance:

  • active, semi-active and passive homing, homing guidance loop dynamics and kinematics, proportional navigation (PN) type guidance and modern homing guidance algorithms, guidance performance and sensitivity analysis.

Target tracking:

  • system and performance requirements, tracker loops and system type, multi-spectral sensors, alpha-beta trackers and Kalman filters

Command guidance:

  • line-of-sight (LOS) systems, LOS-beam riders, command off the line-of-sight (COLOS), command guidance loop dynamics, kinematics and stability, LOS trajectories and coverage diagrams, augmented CLOS.

Navigation guidance:

  • navigation guidance loop dynamics, kinematics and stability, inertial navigation and GPS integration, terrain reference systems, hybrid and compound guidance.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 credit points can be put towards the Guided Weapon Systems MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

Students must have completed Guided Weapons Control Theory in order to take this as a Short Course for Credit. There are no prerequisites if it is taken as a Standalone Short Course.


Dr Derek Bray


A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available.

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.