Vehicle and mission design of a future small payload launcher

Maddock, Christie Alisa and Toso, Federico and Ricciardi, Lorenzo and Mogavero, Alessandro and Lo, Kin Hing and Rengarajan, Sriram and Kontis, Kostantinos and Milne, Andy and Merrifield, Jim and Evans, David and West, Michael and McIntyre, Stuart (2017) Vehicle and mission design of a future small payload launcher. In: 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, CHN. ISBN 9781624104633

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    Abstract

    This paper presents the conceptual design and performance analysis of a partially reusable space launch vehicle for small payloads. The system uses a multi-stage vehicle with rocket engines, with a reusable first stage capable of glided or powered flight, and expendable upper stage(s) to inject a 500 kg payload in different low Earth orbits. The space access vehicle is designed to be air-launched from a modified aircraft carrier. The aim of the system design is to develop a commercially viable launch system for near-term operation, thus emphasis is placed on the efficient use of high TRL technologies. The vehicle design are analysed using a multi-disciplinary design optimisation approach to evaluate the performance, operational capabilities and design trade-offs.