Date of Award
Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
William E. Wiesel, PhD
The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of launching a vehicle based on the Boeing AirLaunch System in a coplanar, direct to rendezvous trajectory with gravity-turn. The focus of the research was to model the launch trajectory and determine the ability to reach different coplanar orbits. The launch trajectory was modeled using two-dimensional equations of motion and a boundary value problem was posed and solved for the gravity-turn trajectory. Trajectories were then created in an attempt to reach different altitudes through coasting and transfer orbits. Finally a specific orbital altitude was chosen and the trajectories were analyzed to find the most efficient route to the target orbit for fuel and time.
DTIC Accession Number
Callaway, David W., "Coplanar Air Launch with Gravity-Turn Launch Trajectories" (2004). Theses and Dissertations. 3922.