Studies on an aerial propellant transfer space plane (APTSP)

Jayan, N. ; Kumar, K. S. Biju ; Gupta, Anish Kumar ; Kashyap, Akhilesh Kumar ; Venkatraman, Kartik ; Mathew, Joseph ; Mukunda, H. S. (2004) Studies on an aerial propellant transfer space plane (APTSP) Acta Astronautica, 54 (7). pp. 519-526. ISSN 0094-5765

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This paper presents a study of a fully reusable earth-to-orbit launch vehicle concept with horizontal take-off and landing, employing a turbojet engine for low speed, and a rocket for high-speed acceleration and space operations. This concept uses existing technology to the maximum possible extent, thereby reducing development time, cost and effort. It uses the experience in aerial filling of military aircrafts for propellant filling at an altitude of 13 km at a flight speed of M=0.85. Aerial filling of propellant reduces the take-off weight significantly thereby minimizing the structural weight of the vehicle. The vehicle takes off horizontally and uses turbojet engines till the end of the propellant filling operation. The rocket engines provide thrust for the next phase till the injection of a satellite at LEO. A sensitivity analysis of the mission with respect to rocket engine specific impulse and overall vehicle structural factor is also presented in this paper. A conceptual design of space plane with a payload capability of 10 ton to LEO is carried out. The study shows that the realization of an aerial propellant transfer space plane is possible with limited development of new technology thus reducing the demands on the finances required for achieving the objectives.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
ID Code:23210
Deposited On:25 Nov 2010 13:18
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