The trend of cost-effective access to space and satellite technologies’ evolution is increasing the small satellite market. However, small payloads usually ride as piggyback, being a secondary passenger of a space vector, with very low flexibility in target orbit and launch schedule. The micro-launchers are designed to answer the needs of the small satellite missions, with a payload capacity up to 350 kg to Low Earth Orbit, aiming to low turn-over time and competitive prices. This paper explains the work performed by Politecnico di Torino in support of the ESA–ESTEC activities on micro-launchers. The aim is to provide preliminary guidelines for choosing and evaluating new innovative micro-launcher flight vehicle engineering processes. A trade-off methodology is proposed and defined based on the Analytically Hierarchical Process (AHP). This methodology considers, among other features, the flight profile, maximum payload, and physical characteristics. To support the trade-off analysis, a software tool is built for the automatic generation of the aerodynamics and propulsion parameters needed for the completion of the preliminary designs, enabling the performance estimation. The launcher’s performance models, with an analysis of the take-off sites and target orbits, are also produced. This allows the definition of performance maps where the maximum payload is graphed as a function of the orbit altitude and inclination. A set of innovative micro-launchers exploiting different technologies is also assessed as a case study.

A trade-off methodology for micro-launchers / Governale, G.; Rimani, J.; Viola, N.; Fernandez Villace, V.. - In: AEROSPACE SYSTEMS. - ISSN 2523-3955. - 4:1(2021). [10.1007/s42401-021-00095-w]

A trade-off methodology for micro-launchers

G. Governale;J. Rimani;N. Viola;
2021

Abstract

The trend of cost-effective access to space and satellite technologies’ evolution is increasing the small satellite market. However, small payloads usually ride as piggyback, being a secondary passenger of a space vector, with very low flexibility in target orbit and launch schedule. The micro-launchers are designed to answer the needs of the small satellite missions, with a payload capacity up to 350 kg to Low Earth Orbit, aiming to low turn-over time and competitive prices. This paper explains the work performed by Politecnico di Torino in support of the ESA–ESTEC activities on micro-launchers. The aim is to provide preliminary guidelines for choosing and evaluating new innovative micro-launcher flight vehicle engineering processes. A trade-off methodology is proposed and defined based on the Analytically Hierarchical Process (AHP). This methodology considers, among other features, the flight profile, maximum payload, and physical characteristics. To support the trade-off analysis, a software tool is built for the automatic generation of the aerodynamics and propulsion parameters needed for the completion of the preliminary designs, enabling the performance estimation. The launcher’s performance models, with an analysis of the take-off sites and target orbits, are also produced. This allows the definition of performance maps where the maximum payload is graphed as a function of the orbit altitude and inclination. A set of innovative micro-launchers exploiting different technologies is also assessed as a case study.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2903133