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A methodology for the synthesis of multiple stage rapid point-to-point transport and reusable launch vehicle systems Open Access Deposited

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Multiple Stage Vehicle Systems (MSVS’s) may be comprised of a lower-atmospheric aircraft first stage and upper-atmospheric launch vehicle upper stages. Until now, synthesis of such aircraft/launch-vehicle MSVS’s has been by unconnected Disciplinary Analysis and Optimization Programs (DAOP’s) developed for either aircraft or launch vehicles. Because DAOP’s are specific to their respective vehicles, they are not well suited to model a vehicle outside their discipline, and thus have been applied to the MSVS’s stages sequentially, but not to the system as a whole. Ideally, it is desirable to have a synthesis method, which can be applied across multiple disciplines, modeling the MSVS holistically. This research develops such a methodology for the synthesis of Rapid Point-To-Point Transport (RPPT) and Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) MSVS’s by implementing a Bi-Level Integrated System Synthesis Response Surface (BLISS-RS) method to link aircraft and launch vehicle DAOP’s. The methodology allocates the responsibilities of the design process across the aircraft/launch vehicle disciplines by using appropriate DAOP’s for each of the MSVS’s stages. The DAOP’s are constrained at the staging location, where the design variables relevant to the DAOP linkage are passed between them, optimizing the final vehicle system. The use of independent aircraft and launch vehicle DAOP’s cooperatively results in a converged system with optimized stages. Based on this methodology, a MSVS synthesis and optimization program, MSVS-OPT, has been developed. A design study for a turbofan/turbojet-ramjet RPPT system is presented to validate the methodology and MSVS-OPT.

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