OPTIMIZATION OF A VEHICLE SATELLITE LAUNCHER BASED ON HYBRID PROPELLANTS
CHALLENGE - There is a considerable trend towards the development of ever smaller satellites for application in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). With an increasing number of small payloads the necessity of a dedicated launch vehicle becomes progressively greater. The Brazilian Space Program would greatly benefit from the development of a national launch vehicle, therefore we present the design of a microsatellite launcher.
SOLUTION - A novelty design technique based on genetic optimization will be employed, this technique aims to provide a multidisciplinary analysis of the problem and the formulation of a complete solution that takes both qualitative and quantitative factors into consideration, delivering a cost effective and reasonable solution for preliminary system design. Seven design cases were proposed employing one or more of the commonly proposed propulsion technologies for hybrid launch vehicles. The design cases are then compared and one of them is selected. This one is optimized again including design knowledge acquired from the comparison of the first seven design cases. The commercial optimization platform modeFRONTIER was used as optimization management environment.
BENEFITS - From the decision matrix above the most convenient solution engineering-wise is Case 7, mainly due to its reasonable mass, cheap materials and fabrication process. The analysis proves that the vehicle can be designed with simple technologies making it possible to be done in Brazil with low cost. Within a limited scope, this work also presents the real possibility of applying evolutionary and multidisciplinary techniques to solve complex design problems with the help of modeFRONTIER.