Space Systems Engineering Conference

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 36
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    A Solar-Powered Near Earth Object Resource Extractor
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-10) Rangedera, Thilini ; Vanmali, Ravi ; Shah, Nilesh ; Zaidi, Waqar ; Komerath, Narayanan Menon ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Georgia Institute of Technology. School of Aerospace Engineering
    This paper is an offshoot of a project to study means of forming massive radiationshielded structures using Near Earth Object (NEO) materials. The topic is the conceptual design of a solar-powered robotic craft to land on, attach to, and extract materials from, a typical NEO. A solar-powered trajectory to a candidate NEO is used to estimate requirements. A reconfigurable solar sail / collector is the primary propulsion and power source for the craft. Following a journey of nearly 5 years, the craft will use a unique pulsed plasmajet torque-hammer concept to attach to the NEO. The basic cutting tool element is a solar-powered Neodymium fiber laser beam sheathed in a plasma jet, expanded through a truncated aerospike nozzle. Two telescoping, rotating arms carrying a total of 60 such nozzles at the ends of "fingers" enable the craft to dig and "float" out NEO material at a rate adequate to build a 50m diameter, 50m-long, 2m thick, walled cylinder within 19 days. The system is also amenable to applications requiring excavation of a large mass of near-surface material for resource processing. The present design appears to close with a total payload to LEO of 37,500 kg, with a total mass of 30,000 kg including the sail/collector at earth escape. The primary consumables on the system are the plasma gas for cutting and maneuvering, and electrodes of the plasma cutters.
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    Designing Sustainable Launch Systems: Flexibility, Lock-In and System Evolution
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-09) Silver, Matthew ; De Weck, Olivier ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Georgia Institute of Technology. Space Systems Design Lab
    NASA has recently made the decision to develop a heavy lift launch system with Shuttle- Derived components, but myriad questions remain about technical design and development strategy. The complexity of heavy lift launch systems and their interconnectedness to the rest of the exploration architecture ensures that near-term architectural design decisions will greatly affect long-term options for future space exploration. This paper uses Real Options valuation to compare two possible development plans for a heavy lift launch system. Taking into account cost profiles, capacity, and uncertainty in demand, various heavy lift vehicle strategies are presented and evaluated along plausible development paths. These strategies can be framed as Shuttle-Derived-Architectures with "options" to change capability in the face shifting demand and risk tolerance scenarios. Initial results suggest that life-cycle optimality is heavily dependant on schedule uncertainty, while less sensitive to lunar and mars mission architectures and initial mass in low earth orbit (IMLEO). Future work will involve more detailed analysis of switching options and switching costs, as well as a more comprehensive network model of switching decisions in order to compare more vehicle configurations.
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    Comparison of Return to Launch Site Options for a Reusable Booster Stage
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-10) Hellman, Barry Mark ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL)
    There is a major need in the U.S. Air Force to develop launch vehicles that can be used for Operational Responsive Spacelift and possibly be used for rapid global Strike. One strategy to achieve these mission goals is to develop a Reusable Military Launch System (RMLS) or a hybrid system which uses a reusable booster with expendable upper stages. In support of the development work of the Aerospace Systems Design Branch (ASC/ENMD) of the USAF Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, this study looked at comparing three basic methods for Return to Launch Site (RTLS) for a reusable booster. These methods are glideback to launch site, flyback using an airbreathing turbofan, and boostback using the booster's main or secondary rocket engines. The booster carries the upper stage(s) on its back to the staging point. Currently, most RTLS vehicle studies either assume a glideback or flyback booster. Very little work outside of the Kistler K-1 has been done to look at boostback methods. The vehicle modeling was integrated into ModelCenter using the MDO method of Optimizer Based Decomposition to handle the branching trajectory problem that arises from the booster performing a RTLS maneuver. Each of the three vehicles was optimized to minimize dry weight and gross weight separately in order to get a better understanding if boostback can provide any advantages over the two more traditional RTLS methods.
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    Design and Operation of Micro-Gravity Dynamics and Controls Laboratories
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-10) Saenz-Otero, Alvar ; Miller, David W. ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Space Systems Laboratory
    The cost and complexity of maturing spacecraft dynamics and controls technology increases dramatically as the developer needs to demonstrate functionality in the space environment. Due to the high cost and infrequent opportunities to exercise such technology in space, dedicated free-flyers are developed which integrate a number of high risk technologies. As the budget expands and real or perceived risk is recognized, schedules extend and technologies are reduced or removed. Pushing advanced technology to its limits in an operational environment is fundamentally at odds with the risk-intolerant environment of space, leading to high costs and delayed testing. The MIT Space Systems Laboratory has taken an alternative approach by developing a family of dynamics and controls laboratories that have operated on Shuttle, Mir, and ISS. By designing the laboratories to not ensure safety through software design, as well as operating within the interior of these vehicles, the risk-tolerant and technically aggressive nature of a terrestrial laboratory has been emulated in the long duration micro-gravity of space. This paper will present the various laboratory design features that have led to the low cost of this technology maturation approach: including modularity; platforming; virtual presence; and facilitation of the iterative research process.
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    Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) Independent Performance Evaluation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-09) Young, David Anthony ; Krevor, Zachary C. ; Tanner, Christopher ; Thompson, Robert W. ; Wilhite, Alan W. ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL)
    The crew launch vehicle is a new NASA launch vehicle design proposed by the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) to provide reliable transportations of humans and cargo from the earth’s surface to low earth orbit (LEO). ESAS was charged with the task of looking at the options for returning to the moon in support of the Vision for Space Exploration. The ESAS results, announced in September 2005, favor the use of shuttle-derived launch vehicles for the goals of servicing the International Space Station after the retirement of the STS and supporting the proposed lunar exploration program. The first launch vehicle to be developed is the Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV), which will be operational by 2012, and will be derived from a four segment Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) and an upper-stage powered by an expendable version of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). The CLV will be capable of sending approximately 60,000 lbs to LEO in the form of a Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) as well as a Service Module (SM) to support the CEV. The purpose of this paper is to compare the published CLV numbers with those computed using the design methodology currently used in the Space System Design Laboratory (SSDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The disciplines used in the design include aerodynamics, configuration, propulsion design, trajectory, mass properties, cost, operations, reliability and safety. Each of these disciplines was computed using a conceptual design tool similar to that used in industry. These disciplines were then combined into an integrated design process and used to minimize the gross weight of the CLV. The final performance, reliability, and cost information are then compared with the original ESAS results and the discrepancies are analyzed. Once the design process was completed, a parametric Excel based model is created from the point design. This model can be used to resize CLV for changing system metrics (such as payload) as well as changing technologies.
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    Ground System for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Mission Observatory Mission
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-10) Tann, Hun K. ; Pages, Raymond J. ; Silva, Christopher J. ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Georgia Institute of Technology. Space Systems Design Lab
    NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has recently completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) of a new dual Ka and S-band ground system for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Mission. SDO, the flagship mission under the new Living with a Star Program Office, is one of GSFC's most recent large-scale in-house missions. The observatory is scheduled for launch in August 2008 from the Kennedy Space Center aboard an Atlas-5 expendable launch vehicle. Unique to this mission is an extremely challenging science data capture requirement. The mission is required to capture 95% of all observation opportunities with a completeness of 99.99%. Due to the continuous, high volume (150 Mbps) science data rate, no on-board storage of science data will be implemented on this mission. With the observatory placed in a geo-synchronous orbit at 36,000 kilometers within view of dedicated ground stations, the ground system will in effect implement a “real-time” science data pipeline with appropriate data accounting, data storage, data distribution, data recovery, and automated system failure detection and correction to keep the science data flowing continuously to three separate Science Operations Centers (SOCs). Data storage rates of ~ 42 Tera-bytes per month are expected. The Mission Operations Center (MOC) will be based at GSFC and is designed to be highly automated. Three SOCs will share in the observatory operations, each operating their own instrument. Remote operations of a multi-antenna ground station in White Sands, New Mexico from the MOC is part of the design baseline.
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    Systems Engineering Principles Applied to Basic Research and Development
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-10) Anderson, Norman C. ; Nolte, William ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Georgia Institute of Technology. Space Systems Design Lab
    Systems engineering principles and processes have grown out of the need to effectively manage complex programs, many of them for the acquisition of operational military systems. These multi-billion dollar programs truly benefit from the application of structured systems engineering principles, and the supporting processes have been finetuned to maximize their benefit in a requirements driven environment. Research and development efforts, on the other-hand, have typically avoided application of structured processes, primarily due to a perception that such structure inhibits the creative processes that are so crucial to the discovery and development of new technologies. This paper proposes that systems engineering principles and creative discovery are not mutually exclusive environments, and that, in fact, appropriately tailored systems engineering processes can enable and enhance scientific discovery. An example of this concept will be presented for the principles of risk management, including application to basic research, applied research and development, and technology demonstrations.
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    National Security Space Enterprise Engineering
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-10) Hagemeier, Hal ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Georgia Institute of Technology. Space Systems Design Lab
    Space provides critical capabilities for all sectors of our society. Today's world depends on space capabilities for weather and climate monitoring, remote sensing, scientific investigation and commercial and financial transactions. Defense and intelligence decision makers depend on our space programs for reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, warning, communications, global positioning and navigation. There is value to addressing national security space from an enterprise perspective. We can be more effective and efficient by appropriate enterprise engineering. An enterprise consists of people, processes, and technology interacting with each other and their environment to achieve goals. The mission of the National Security Space Office is to Integrate and coordinate defense and intelligence space activities to achieve unity of effort.
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    MER: Stealing Success from the Jaws of Failure
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-09) Manning, Robert M. ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.)
    Describes mission planning and vehicle designs for MER, the Mars Exploration Rovers. The Mars Exploration Rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. The mission was accomplished in three years with most components requiring original design. The robotic explorers performed geologic surveys on the planet Mars.
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    System Architecture Tools and Assumptions
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-09) Reeves, David M. ; Scher, Michael D. ; Shidner, Jeremy ; Thomas, Paige D. ; Bucher, Dean ; Roithmayr, Carlos ; Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) ; Georgia Institute of Technology. School of Aerospace Engineering ; Georgia Institute of Technology. Space Systems Design Lab
    Discussion of various system architecture tools and assumptions available to modify existing architectures for new requirements and mission objectives. This study started from proven Apollo concept and adjusted it for new requirements and mission objectives. New technologies were included to decrease size and cost. A crew size trade study is presented to demonstrate how mass size, propulsion size, and trajectory are calculated for an unmanned and up to four man crew in lunar exploration missions