Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Space Systems


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Richard G. Cobb, PhD


When a non-US spacecraft reenters the Earth's atmosphere, having the ability to accurately determine its performance characteristics is a primary concern. This study investigated the atmospheric re-entry profiles of a maneuverable re-entry vehicle. The re-entry vehicle was modeled as a point mass with aerodynamic properties. Equations of motion were numerically integrated, giving the time histories of position, velocity and flight path angle. The algorithm is able to generate a complete and feasible entry trajectory of a approximately 25-minute flight time in about 5 to 10 seconds on a desktop computer, given the entry conditions and values of constraint parameters. This preliminary study shows the feasibility of identifying and further exploring the technical challenges involved in using a mathematical model to simulate the performance characteristics of the maneuvering re-entry vehicle.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number