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Laser powered interorbital vehicleA preliminary design of a low-thrust Laser Powered Interorbital Vehicle (LPIV) intended for cargo transportation between an Earth space station and a lunar base is presented. The selected mission utilizes a spiral trajectory, characteristic of a low-thrust spacecraft, requiring eight days for a lunar rendezvous and an additional nine days for return. The ship's configuration consists primarily of an optical train, two hydrogen plasma engines, a 37.1 m box-beam truss, a payload module, and propellant tanks. The total mass of the vehicle, fully loaded, is 63,300 kg. A single plasma, regeneratively cooled engine design is incorporated into the two 500 N engines. These are connected to the spacecraft by turntables that allow the vehicle to thrust tangential to the flight path. Proper collection and transmission of the laser beam to the thrust chambers is provided through the optical train. This system consists of a 23-m-diameter primary mirror, a convex parabolic secondary mirror, a beam splitter, and two concave parabolic tertiary mirrors. The payload bay is capable of carrying 18,000 kg of cargo and is located opposite the primary mirror on the main truss. Fuel tanks carrying a maximum of 35,000 kg of liquid hydrogen are fastened to tracks that allow the tanks to be moved perpendicular to the main truss. This capability is required to prevent the center of mass from moving out of the thrust vector line. The laser beam is located and tracked by means of an acquisition, pointing, and tracking system that can be locked onto the space-based laser station. Correct orientation of the spacecraft with the laser beam is maintained by control moment gyros and reaction control rockets. In addition, an aerobrake configuration was designed to provide the option of using the atmospheric drag in place of propulsion for a return trajectory.
Document ID
19940004540
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Clarke, M. T.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Cooper, J. J.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Eggleston, G. P.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Farkas, M. A.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Hunt, D. C.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
King, J.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Nguyen, H.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Rahal, G.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Saw, K.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Tipton, R.
(Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. Blacksburg, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: USRA, NASA(USRA University Advanced Design Program Fifth Annual Summer Conference
Subject Category
Space Transportation
Accession Number
94N71295
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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