Conceptual design analysis for a two-stage-to-orbit semi-reusable launch system for small satellites

Christie Alisa Maddock, Lorenzo Angelo Ricciardi, Michael West, Joanne West, Konstantinos Kontis, Sriram Rengarajan, David Evans, Andy Milne, Stuart McIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper presents the conceptual design and performance analysis of a partially reusable space launch vehicle for small payloads. The system employs a multi-stage vehicle powered by rocket engines, with a reusable first stage capable of glided or powered flight, and expendable upper stage(s) to inject 500 kg of payload into low Earth orbits. The space access vehicle is designed to be air-launched from a modified aircraft carrier. The aim of the system design is to develop a commercially viable launch system for near-term operation, thus emphasis is placed on the efficient use of high TRL technologies and on the commercial potential of the technical design. The vehicle design is analysed using a multi-disciplinary design optimisation approach to evaluate the performance, operational capabilities and design trade-offs. Results from two trade-off studies are shown, evaluating the choice wing area and thus aerodynamic characteristics, and the choice of stage masses and engines selection on the mission performance.
LanguageEnglish
JournalActa Astronautica
Early online date21 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Aug 2018

Fingerprint

Conceptual design
Orbits
Satellites
Aircraft carriers
Launch vehicles
Rocket engines
Aerodynamics
Earth (planet)
Systems analysis
Engines
Air

Keywords

  • space access
  • trajectory optimisation
  • space transportation

Cite this

Maddock, Christie Alisa ; Ricciardi, Lorenzo Angelo ; West, Michael ; West, Joanne ; Kontis, Konstantinos ; Rengarajan, Sriram ; Evans, David ; Milne, Andy ; McIntyre, Stuart. / Conceptual design analysis for a two-stage-to-orbit semi-reusable launch system for small satellites. In: Acta Astronautica. 2018.
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abstract = "This paper presents the conceptual design and performance analysis of a partially reusable space launch vehicle for small payloads. The system employs a multi-stage vehicle powered by rocket engines, with a reusable first stage capable of glided or powered flight, and expendable upper stage(s) to inject 500 kg of payload into low Earth orbits. The space access vehicle is designed to be air-launched from a modified aircraft carrier. The aim of the system design is to develop a commercially viable launch system for near-term operation, thus emphasis is placed on the efficient use of high TRL technologies and on the commercial potential of the technical design. The vehicle design is analysed using a multi-disciplinary design optimisation approach to evaluate the performance, operational capabilities and design trade-offs. Results from two trade-off studies are shown, evaluating the choice wing area and thus aerodynamic characteristics, and the choice of stage masses and engines selection on the mission performance.",
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Conceptual design analysis for a two-stage-to-orbit semi-reusable launch system for small satellites. / Maddock, Christie Alisa; Ricciardi, Lorenzo Angelo; West, Michael; West, Joanne; Kontis, Konstantinos; Rengarajan, Sriram; Evans, David; Milne, Andy; McIntyre, Stuart.

In: Acta Astronautica, 21.08.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - This paper presents the conceptual design and performance analysis of a partially reusable space launch vehicle for small payloads. The system employs a multi-stage vehicle powered by rocket engines, with a reusable first stage capable of glided or powered flight, and expendable upper stage(s) to inject 500 kg of payload into low Earth orbits. The space access vehicle is designed to be air-launched from a modified aircraft carrier. The aim of the system design is to develop a commercially viable launch system for near-term operation, thus emphasis is placed on the efficient use of high TRL technologies and on the commercial potential of the technical design. The vehicle design is analysed using a multi-disciplinary design optimisation approach to evaluate the performance, operational capabilities and design trade-offs. Results from two trade-off studies are shown, evaluating the choice wing area and thus aerodynamic characteristics, and the choice of stage masses and engines selection on the mission performance.

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