Selecting the Transport Operation Parameters for a Small Space Tug

Authors: Shcheglov G.A., Suslov N.I., Kazaku I.A. Published: 10.01.2024
Published in issue: #4(147)/2023  

DOI: 10.18698/0236-3941-2023-4-16-33

Category: Aviation and Rocket-Space Engineering | Chapter: Aircrafts Development, Design and Manufacture  
Keywords: small space tug, transport operation, coplanar flight, trasfer orbit, propellant capacity, flight time


The paper considers one of the problems in designing a small upper stage to provide peripheral launch services during a cluster launch of satellites, as part of solving the problem of disproportion between small payloads and the existing launch vehicles. This work objective is to select rational parameters for the transport operation of a small space tug stage equipped with engines with short permissible continuous operation time and long lasting number of ignitions. Coplanar motion of the maneuvering small upper stage was studied in a central gravitational field exposed to short-term pulses of the low-thrust rocket engine. Both traditional transport operation scenarios involving the use of quasi-Hohmann orbits and new scenarios that make it possible to accelerate the transport operation through introduction of the transfer orbits were analyzed. The transport operation efficiency was assessed for the given circular orbit elevation altitude based on characteristic speed reserve, propellant mass and flight time. It is noted that the best parameters of the transport operation are observed in the new proposed trajectories. This approach makes it possible to ensure the coplanar flight from a reference circular orbit at the altitude of 500 km to the target circular orbit at the altitude of 1500 km in less than 6 hours with the excess in propellant consumption of no more than 3.5 %. At the target orbit low altitudes, transport operations using the spiral trajectories are more efficient

The work was performed as part of implementing the BMSTU AES program "Systems engineering in rocket and space technology"

Please cite this article in English as:

Shcheglov G.A., Suslov N.I., Kazaku I.A. Selecting the transport operation parameters for a small spase tug. Herald of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Series Mechanical Engineering, 2023, no. 4 (147), pp. 16--33 (in Russ.). DOI: https://doi.org/10.18698/0236-3941-2023-4-16-33


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