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Modeling, Simulation and Visualization of Aerocapture


Modeling, Simulation and Visualization of Aerocapture

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    Available in PDF Format | Modeling, Simulation and Visualization of Aerocapture.pdf | Unknown
    Zigmond V. Leszczynski
This is a NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA report procured by the Pentagon and made available for public release. It has been reproduced in the best form available to the Pentagon. It is not spiral-bound, but rather assembled with Velobinding in a soft, white linen cover. The Storming Media report number is A239853. The abstract provided by the Pentagon follows: A vehicle travelling from Earth to another planet on a ballistic trajectory approaches that planet at hyperbolic velocity. Upon arrival, the vehicle must significantly reduce its speed for orbit insertion. Traditionally, this deceleration has been achieved by propulsive capture, which consumes a large amount of propellant. Aerocapture offers a more fuel-efficient alternative by exploiting vehicular drag in the planet's atmosphere. However, this technique generates extreme heat, necessitating a special thermal protection shield (TPS). Performing a trade study between the propellant mass required for propulsive capture and the TPS mass required for aerocapture can help determine which method is more desirable for a particular mission. The research objective of this thesis was to analyze aerocapture dynamics for the advancement of this trade study process. The result was an aerocapture simulation tool (ACAPS) developed in MATLAB with SIMULINK, emphasizing code validation, upgradeability, user-friendliness and trajectory visualization. The current version, ACAPS 1.1, is a three- degrees-of-freedom point mass simulation model that incorporates a look-up table for the Mars atmosphere. ACAPS is expected to supplement the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Project Design Center (PDC) toolkit as preliminary design software for the Mars 2005 Sample Return (MSR) Mission, Mars 2007 Mission, Mars Micromissions, Neptune/Triton Mission, and Human Mars Mission.  
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