The simulation of planetary aerocapture

Lewis, Nathan John (2002). The simulation of planetary aerocapture Honours Thesis, School of Engineering, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Lewis, Nathan John
Thesis Title The simulation of planetary aerocapture
School, Centre or Institute School of Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Professor. Richard Morgan
Total pages 51
Language eng
Subjects 0913 Mechanical Engineering
Formatted abstract

Aerocapture, the use of atmospheric drag during a single pass through the atmosphere of a planet in order to reduce the velocity of a spaceship from above to below escape speed, is a technique that is thought to be of use in the exploration of space. No aerocapture maneuver has been performed to date.  

This study investigated the aerocapture planetary approach trajectory for a non-lifting spacecraft approaching Mars from Earth on a minimum energy interplanetary transfer orbit. A very simple code was developed to numerically investigate the aerocapture approach corridor width. Another code was then developed to automatically locate aerocapture trajectories of interest. This second code was used to determine the effect that atmospheric variations had upon the aerocapture approach corridor width.

Keyword Planetary aerocapture
Simulation
Additional Notes * Mechanical engineering undergraduate theses. Sem 2, 2002

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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