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Pre-conceptual staging trade-offs of reusable launch vehicles

Dominguez Calabuig, Guillermo Joaquin and Wilken, Jascha (2022) Pre-conceptual staging trade-offs of reusable launch vehicles. In: 9th European Conference For Aeronautics And Space Science, EUCASS 2022. 9th European Conference for Aeronautics and Space Sciences (EUCASS), 27. Juni - 01. Juli 2022, Lillle, Frankreich.

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Reusable launch systems have revolutionized the space transportation industry during the last decade. The established success of Falcon 9 (SpaceX) played a pivotal role for many private companies and space agencies, pushing them to invest consistent resources in reusable launch vehicles (RLV) oriented on re-covery for both main and upper stages. In this study, a novel pre-conceptual methodology for the sizing of reusable main stages based on optimal staging, structural index curves and rocket engine characteristics is introduced. The approach can serve to develop initial guesses and bounds for further detailed RLV sizing. It extends conventional launcher design methodologies, based on optimal staging with velocity budgets, to reusable trajectories with recovery hardware. This is used for a conceptual analysis of the suitability of design alternatives in terms of performance and parametric cost metrics and including different recovery solutions based on VTVL and VTHL rocket concepts. The study also explores the differences in using hydrogen, methane, propane, ammonia and kerosene as fuel. The results show the importance of modeling the recovery propellant and a sensitivity to the number of expected reuses for cost optimal designs differing from minimum take off mass solutions. Although it provides fast results which can be suitable to initialize the conceptual design of RLVs, its validity is limited as a consequence of the difficulty in conceptually modeling additional design parameters and their impact the vehicle trajectory and dry mass. Therefore, its results have to be carefully used within subsequent design phases, although it can be useful as an initialization strategy. Particularly, the velocity analysis discipline can produce initial guesses for detailed trajectory optimization, and the optimal staging routine for Multi-disciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) assessments. The performed trade-offs will be further complemented with future detailed studies on structural design and high fidelity MDAO.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/187097/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Pre-conceptual staging trade-offs of reusable launch vehicles
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Wilken, JaschaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5748-1261UNSPECIFIED
Date:June 2022
Journal or Publication Title:9th European Conference For Aeronautics And Space Science, EUCASS 2022
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Reusable Launch Vehicle, Staging, Trade-Off, Optimization, VTVL, VTHL, Performance, Cost
Event Title:9th European Conference for Aeronautics and Space Sciences (EUCASS)
Event Location:Lillle, Frankreich
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:27. Juni - 01. Juli 2022
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Transportation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RP - Space Transportation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Systems Analysis Space Transport (SART), R - Reusable Space Systems and Propulsion Technology
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Space Launcher Systems Analysis
Deposited By: Callsen, Steffen
Deposited On:27 Jun 2022 12:04
Last Modified:04 Jul 2022 09:12

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