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Return and abort trajectory optimisation for reusable launch vehicles

Toso, Federico and Maddock, Christie (2017) Return and abort trajectory optimisation for reusable launch vehicles. In: Proceedings of the 21st AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference. International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conferences . American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA, Reston, VA. ISBN 9781624104633

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Abstract

Among the future space access vehicles, the lifting body spaceplane is the most promising approach to prevent damage to both the launcher and the payload in case of loss of thrust. The glide performances of the vehicle allow the recovery in both nominal and abort cases. The approach presented is used in the investigation of the unpowered descent paths of a sample vehicle through trajectory optimisation. The vehicle's downrange and crossrange limits are obtained for aborts in multiple flight conditions.