Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

William E. Wiesel, PhD


This study investigated the atmospheric reentry of the Space Maneuver Vehicle from low-earth orbit using an entry guidance concept similar to the Space Shuttle. The Space Maneuver Vehicle was modeled as a point mass with aerodynamic properties as determined using Newtonian impact theory. For the rarefied-flow transition regime bridging formulae are used to capture the effects of both hypersonic continuum flow and free molecular flow. Constraints to the reentry are developed and a reentry corridor is defined in the drag-velocity plane. Bank angle modulation is established as the primary means for controlling drag and range. The guidance concept is applied to both a high inclination orbit and a low inclination orbit with cross-range requirement. Monte Carlo error analysis validates the ability of the control algorithm to guide reentry in the presence of initial state errors, as well as atmospheric variations.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number