Aerocapture Mission Analysis

Jorrik Engelsma, Erwin Mooij

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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By simulating full lift-up and full lift-down trajectories, the limit initial conditions for which successful aerocapture is possible have been determined. These boundaries form the entry corridor for aerocapture, and have been developed for Earth, Mars, and Venus. Moreover, two different vehicles representative for either manned missions or sample return were studied. The vehicle configurations were varied to study the effect of mass and lift on the size of the entry corridor. From this investigation it was determined that increasing the lift produced by the vehicle is a more effective method of widening the entry corridor than decreasing the mass. Furthermore, it was found that a lift-up-lift-down bang-bang type of trajectory minimises both the total ∆V, the load factor, and the heat load. An optimisation scheme was set up to determine the optimal switch time, which showed that for nearly all initial conditions that fall within the boundaries specified by the developed entry corridors, optimal aerocapture could indeed be achieved with an apoapsis correcting manoeuvre with a ∆V smaller than 0.01 m/s.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Subtitle of host publication6-10 January 2020, Orlando, FL
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-595-1
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum - Orlando, United States
Duration: 6 Jan 202010 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
CountryUnited States


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