Conceptual design of a two stage runway based space launch system

Sudharshan Ashwin Renganathan, Dimitri N. Mavrisy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The conceptual design of a runway-based, fully re-usable space launch system to deliver payload to 100 nautical mile Low Earth Orbit (LEO), driven by the requirements of Space Solar Power (SSP), is performed. A two-stage-to-orbit (TSTO) system is considered which includes a large supersonic carrier vehicle capable of take-off and landing on conventional runways and a hypersonic vehicle air-launched from the carrier vehicle, capable of accelerating to orbital speeds and return to earth safely, thereby making the system re-usable and hence cost effective. The energy based constraint analysis by Mattingly1 is used to size the carrier vehicle while local surface inclination methods2 are used to size the hypersonic vehicle. An unified environment that can rapidly size the TSTO system is developed. This paper presents the preliminary results of the environment which is undergoing ongoing development. Focus is laid more on the analytical representation of the hypersonic vehicle shape and its drag estimation which is critical in the conceptual design of the vehicle. The propulsion system feasibility for the launch system is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624103216
StatePublished - 2015
Event51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2015 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jul 27 2015Jul 29 2015

Publication series

Name51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference


Other51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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