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Title: SOAR: Simplified Orientation for Air-Launching Rockets
Authors: Ellis, Joshua Thomas
Advisors: Miles, Richard
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Presented here is a novel design for an air-launched rocket concept based on the results of simulations aimed at determining the performance and loading of various air-launch configurations that allow an unmodified ground-launched rocket to inte-grate into an air-launch architecture. Simulations were performed using a 6-DOF MATLAB program and the Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories, which took input aerodynamic data generated in Missile DATCOM, propulsion characteristics, and mass properties for a representative small-payload capacity rocket. Studies were conducted to compare the payload performance and loading of this rocket in various air-launch conditions to its performance and loading in a ground-launch condition. Results showed that current approaches with air-launch configurations subject rock-ets to higher loading than they experience in ground-launch conditions. This led to studies simulating air-launch with the aid of a parachute cluster because of its demonstrated feasibility in air-launching Minuteman I missiles. Using the cluster, the air-launched rocket experienced 40% less loading than the ground-launch case as well as a 20% payload mass increase. A design to realize this air-launch configuration was then developed, using Stratolaunch’s M351 as the example carrier aircraft.
Extent: 76 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2020

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