Multidisciplinary design analysis of a semi-reusable two-stage-to-orbit small payload launch system

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This paper contains an analysis of the design trade-ofs for a semi-reusable two-stage to orbit, rocket- powered launch system for small payloads. The system is to be air-launched of a modifed commercial aircraft with a full reusable, flight capable return vehicle. This allows the system to be operational from any suitable space or airport; a increasingly common aim of new, agile launch concepts for small payloads. The system was modelled with a multidisciplinary design optimisation (MDO) framework using two different optimal control solvers: MODHOC, a multi-objective optimiser that combined an evolutionary- based global optimisation together with a collocation-based optimal control solver; and TROPICO, a single-objective optimiser using a direct multi-shooting approach.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2019
EventInternational Astronautical Congress 2019 - Washington DC, United States
Duration: 21 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


ConferenceInternational Astronautical Congress 2019
Abbreviated titleIAC 19
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington DC
Internet address


  • space transportation
  • small launchers
  • small payloads
  • launch systems
  • astronautics


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