Hypersonic Point-to-Point Travel for the Common Man

Carlos Bislip, Erwin Mooij*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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Objects travelling at hypersonic speeds typically experience significant mechanical loads, particularly during acceleration/deceleration. Excluding both technical and economic limitations, sub-orbital point-to-point travel is inevitably restricted to a group of individuals that are trained and whose health is certified prior to travel. This work seeks to explore the possibility of identifying, for a chosen route and reference vehicle, a set of parameters such that an individual could participate in hypersonic travel without health screenings or prior training. An open-loop guidance system is used with idealised navigation and control systems. The guidance method is based on node control with the assumption of instant implementation of commanded states. After an initial design space exploration is performed with various evolutionary algorithms, the Multi-objective Evolutionary Algorithm based on Decomposition with differential evolution (MOEA/D) (DE) is selected for further use, along with a preferred set of objective functions and a decision vector length. The subsequent optimisation strategy is separated into a coupled and decoupled phase approach, where the coupled approach combines the vehicle’s ascent and descent optimisations, while the decoupled approach performs a descent phase optimisation and attempts to link an ascent phase to the optimised descent phase. Decoupling, as performed, did not allow for the identification of a linkable trajectory. An optimal trajectory was identified with the coupled approach that required a significant amount of additional propellant and dry mass, yet maximum g0-loads approached the constraint of an increase of 1 g0. Recommendations are given to further the study.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Optimization and Its Applications
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSpringer Optimization and Its Applications
ISSN (Print)1931-6828
ISSN (Electronic)1931-6836

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Optimisation
  • Point-to-point travel
  • Space-plane trajectories


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