Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

individual

Authors' Class Standing

Chris Hays, Junior

Lead Presenter's Name

Christopher Hays

Faculty Mentor Name

Pedro Llanos

Abstract

This project addresses critical flight contingencies for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital vehicle to analyze and evaluate the feasibility of its flight operations. The research suborbital data was obtained using the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Suborbital Space Flight Simulator. These suborbital flight profiles were simulated after drop from WhiteKnightTwo for several contingency scenarios, such as on-trajectory failures (thrust termination), fuel dumping, loss of vector control, and tumbling turn failures. The simulated data obtained from these flights will be used as a preliminary step for future developments of flight planning to better estimate the space flight corridors during descent and ascent trajectories. This data will provide flight and ground safety operators with key information to better understand hazard and safety risks and establish pertinent procedures and preventive measures when the vehicle goes through the National Air Space (NAS). Matlab and Excel softwares were used to generate graphical representations of various parameters, such as altitude, fuel mass, range, angle of attack, flight path angle, pitch, G-load, and mission elapsed time to assess the hazard and safety risk of SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight operations for each contingency scenario.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

No

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Flight Operations Quality Assurance Analysis for Contingency Scenarios of SpaceShipTwo using ERAU’s Suborbital Space Flight Simulator

This project addresses critical flight contingencies for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital vehicle to analyze and evaluate the feasibility of its flight operations. The research suborbital data was obtained using the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Suborbital Space Flight Simulator. These suborbital flight profiles were simulated after drop from WhiteKnightTwo for several contingency scenarios, such as on-trajectory failures (thrust termination), fuel dumping, loss of vector control, and tumbling turn failures. The simulated data obtained from these flights will be used as a preliminary step for future developments of flight planning to better estimate the space flight corridors during descent and ascent trajectories. This data will provide flight and ground safety operators with key information to better understand hazard and safety risks and establish pertinent procedures and preventive measures when the vehicle goes through the National Air Space (NAS). Matlab and Excel softwares were used to generate graphical representations of various parameters, such as altitude, fuel mass, range, angle of attack, flight path angle, pitch, G-load, and mission elapsed time to assess the hazard and safety risk of SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight operations for each contingency scenario.

 

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