Picture map of Europe with pins indicating European capital cities

Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

Explore research outputs by the European Policies Research Centre...

Ascent trajectory optimisation for a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle with hybrid propulsion

Pescetelli, Fabrizio and Minisci, Edmondo and Maddock, Christie and Taylor, Ian and Brown, Richard (2012) Ascent trajectory optimisation for a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle with hybrid propulsion. In: 18th AIAA/3AF International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, 2012-09-24 - 2012-09-28.

Minisci_E_et_al_Pure_Ascent_trajectory_optimisation_for_a_single_stage_to_orbit_vehicle_with_hybrid_propulsion.pdf - Preprint

Download (2MB) | Preview


This paper addresses the design of ascent trajectories for a hybrid-engine, high performance, unmanned, single-stage-to-orbit vehicle for payload deployment into low Earth orbit. A hybrid optimisation technique that couples a population-based, stochastic algorithm with a deterministic, gradient-based technique is used to maximize the nal vehicle mass in low Earth orbit after accounting for operational constraints on the dynamic pressure, Mach number and maximum axial and normal accelerations. The control search space is first explored by the population-based algorithm, which uses a single shooting method to evaluate the performance of candidate solutions. The resultant optimal control law and corresponding trajectory are then further refined by a direct collocation method based on finite elements in time. Two distinct operational phases, one using an air-breathing propulsion mode and the second using rocket propulsion, are considered. The presence of uncertainties in the atmospheric and vehicle aerodynamic models are considered in order to quantify their effect on the performance of the vehicle. Firstly, the deterministic optimal control law is re-integrated after introducing uncertainties into the models. The proximity of the final solutions to the target states are analysed statistically. A second analysis is then performed, aimed at determining the best performance of the vehicle when these uncertainties are included directly in the optimisation. The statistical analysis of the results obtained are summarized by an expectancy curve which represents the probable vehicle performance as a function of the uncertain system parameters. This analysis can be used during the preliminary phase of design to yield valuable insights into the robustness of the performance of the vehicle to uncertainties in the specification of its parameters.