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What is the formal definition of the two in terms of flight control theory?

My understanding is that a guidance law directs the high-level motion or direction of the aircraft and generally produces a "virtual" command which the control law takes as input.

Whereas a control law refers to the augmentation system or autopilot which aims to control the aircraft dynamics using a direct relation between the actuators and its resultant change in dynamics.

Is it correct to say that the outer-loop controller uses a guidance law, whereas the inner-loop controller uses a control law?

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  • $\begingroup$ I never heard "guidance law". Where did you find that term? BTW, you may be interested by th page about Flight Control Laws of skybrary $\endgroup$ – Manu H Jun 24 at 20:28
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    $\begingroup$ @ManuH Some examples of guidance laws are Proportional Navigation, Pure Pursuit control, and L1 Control. $\endgroup$ – pterodon Jun 24 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ don't hesitate to update the description of your question to include such information in it. $\endgroup$ – Manu H Jun 25 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ I seriously doubt there is one universal formal definition. Everybody tends to use the terms slightly differently. Well, only Airbus uses the later much anyway. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 27 at 21:35

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