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Development of Constraint Force Equation Methodology for Application to Multi-Body Dynamics Including Launch Vehicle Stage SeperationThe objective of this report is to develop and implement a physics based method for analysis and simulation of multi-body dynamics including launch vehicle stage separation. The constraint force equation (CFE) methodology discussed in this report provides such a framework for modeling constraint forces and moments acting at joints when the vehicles are still connected. Several stand-alone test cases involving various types of joints were developed to validate the CFE methodology. The results were compared with ADAMS(Registered Trademark) and Autolev, two different industry standard benchmark codes for multi-body dynamic analysis and simulations. However, these two codes are not designed for aerospace flight trajectory simulations. After this validation exercise, the CFE algorithm was implemented in Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST2) to provide a capability to simulate end-to-end trajectories of launch vehicles including stage separation. The POST2/CFE methodology was applied to the STS-1 Space Shuttle solid rocket booster (SRB) separation and Hyper-X Research Vehicle (HXRV) separation from the Pegasus booster as a further test and validation for its application to launch vehicle stage separation problems. Finally, to demonstrate end-to-end simulation capability, POST2/CFE was applied to the ascent, orbit insertion, and booster return of a reusable two-stage-to-orbit (TSTO) vehicle concept. With these validation exercises, POST2/CFE software can be used for performing conceptual level end-to-end simulations, including launch vehicle stage separation, for problems similar to those discussed in this report.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Publication (TP)
Pamadi, Bandu N. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Toniolo, Matthew D. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Tartabini, Paul V. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Roithmayr, Carlos M. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Albertson, Cindy W. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Karlgaard, Christopher D. (Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2016
Publication Date
July 1, 2016
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 869021.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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