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Calculating Launch Vehicle Flight Performance ReserveThis paper addresses different methods for determining the amount of extra propellant (flight performance reserve or FPR) that is necessary to reach orbit with a high probability of success. One approach involves assuming that the various influential parameters are independent and that the result behaves as a Gaussian. Alternatively, probabilistic models may be used to determine the vehicle and environmental models that will be available (estimated) for a launch day go/no go decision. High-fidelity closed-loop Monte Carlo simulation determines the amount of propellant used with each random combination of parameters that are still unknown at the time of launch. Using the results of the Monte Carlo simulation, several methods were used to calculate the FPR. The final chosen solution involves determining distributions for the pertinent outputs and running a separate Monte Carlo simulation to obtain a best estimate of the required FPR. This result differs from the result obtained using the other methods sufficiently that the higher fidelity is warranted.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hanson, John M. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Pinson, Robin M. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Beard, Bernard B. (ARES Corp. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
August 8, 2011
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles and Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference(Portland, OR)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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