Re-entry analysis of the National Aerospace Plane

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1993
Authors
Chapman, Jay Gerard
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Abstract
Re-entry analysis of a vehicle stems from the final problem associated with a space vehicle, namely its recovery on a planetary surface. For the ca.se of a planet with an atmosphere, such as the Earth, this problem must deal with aerodynamic and gravitational forces, aerodynamic heating, and the manipulation of the time and location of the landing. This paper is intended to address the re-entry problem for a proposed vehicle being developed by the United States called the National Aerospace Plane or NASP. Analysis has shown the NASP to have a maximum lateral range of approximately 154 kilometers based on a constant angle-of-attack re-entry. This lateral range might be considered somewhat small, but it is a reasonable result for a study without true optimal control. With this analysis as a starting point for a more in-depth study of this re-entry vehicle, the true optimal control of the NASP may be analyzed.
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