Robust multi-disciplinary modelling of future re-usable aerospace planes

Wuilbercq, R. and Mogavero, A. and Brown, R. E. (2015) Robust multi-disciplinary modelling of future re-usable aerospace planes. In: 20th International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, MHYP15, 2015-07-06 - 2015-07-09. (

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Practical embodiment of the Single-Stage to Orbit concept has long been held as the key to unlocking a future of rapid, reliable, even scheduled access to space. The full potential of Single-Stage to Orbit will only be realised when this vehicle concept is integrated into an airline-like operational paradigm which has, as its basis, the re-usability of the individual vehicles that comprise the fleet, but in addition, extends to the long-term assuredness of operations through sustained reliability, quick turnaround, and control over recurring costs to the point where the profitability of the enterprise can be assured for its owners and investors. The purpose of this paper is to make some initial steps towards providing some quantitative answers as to how decisions that are made regarding the design of the actual hardware might impact on long-term viability of the technology through influencing the reliability of the system and eventually its cost when incorporated as part of an integrated transportation system. This is achieved through embedding a physics-based simulation of the performance of the vehicle subsystems, under operational conditions, into a Discrete Event Simulation of spaceport operations, allowing the statistical relationship between the various design characteristics of the vehicle, and the metrics that are relevant to its operational cost, to be exposed.