Optimization and performance analysis of waverider configured interplanetary space vehicles
Flynn, John M.
Conrad F. Newberry
Bowles, Jeffrey V.
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This thesis describes a number of issues associated with waverider configured spacecraft designed for interplanetary missions. The first such issue is the determination of the magnitude of the energies and velocities required for conventional gravity-assist (GA) spaceflight maneuvers contrasted with energies and velocities required for less conventional aero-gravity assisted (AGA) maneuvers for interplanetary spaceflight travel These comparisons will be made for an Earth-Mars shuttle mission, a mission to Saturn, a mission to Neptune, and a round-trip mission to Saturn. Two additional issues considered for each mission are the fuel requirements and flight time parameters for both gravity-assist and AGA maneuvering spaceflight trajectories. This research includes the use of the patched conic interplanetary trajectory optimization MIDAS (Mission Design and Analysis Software) code for mission flight path analysis developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Waverider configuration development and off-design aerothermal analysis for each mission was supported by the NASA Ames Research Center's Waverider code (a subset of the Hypersonic Aircraft Vehicle Optimization Code) and a modified AEROSA code employing a Martian atmosphere, respectively. The results of this research showed that by using AGA, launch windows could be widened, flight times could be reduced by 25%, and fuels could be reduced by 30%.
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