Date of Award
Master of Science
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
William E. Wiesel, PhD
The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of launching a Delta Clipper-like vehicle on an optimal, non-coplanar trajectory to rendezvous with an earth orbiting object in one orbit or less. The focus of the research was to determine what such a trajectory would look like, and to determine the cost, in payload mass, of flying such a trajectory. A model for the ascent trajectory was developed using the dynamics equations of motion, an atmosphere model, and an aerodynamic model for the DC-Y concept vehicle. A boundary value problem was posed and solved for a coplanar rendezvous. The non-coplanar solutions were obtained through extrapolation from the coplanar solution.
DTIC Accession Number
Sears, Gregory B., "Optimal Non-Coplanar Launch to Quick Rendezvous" (1997). Theses and Dissertations. 5768.