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SBIR/STTR

Modular NanoSat Launcher Design for Lowest Mission Cost, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Modular NanoSat Launcher Design for Lowest Mission Cost, Phase I
As minimum cost will be required for a dedicated NanoSat Launch Vehicle, a series and parallel staged, highly modular vehicle architecture is proposed for design exploration. The principal advantage of a modular architecture on this size vehicle is a single propulsion development at a relatively small scale which drastically shortens development timelines and cost. A candidate launch vehicle could use 7 modules for the first stage, 4 for the second, 2 for the third, and 1 for the fourth. Whittinghill Aerospace proposes to investigate many modular designs for 3, 4, and 5 stage vehicles of different (solid, liquid, and hybrid) propellant types. Structural, aerodynamic, propulsion, and control configurations of vehicles will be optimized and "flown" with a trajectory tool to evaluate performance. After trades and analyses are completed and designs ranked, the resulting optimum module size will then be built and tested at an anticipated 1 to 3Klb thrust level. At the conclusion of Phase 1, the technology will be ready for flight development and will be at a TRL level of 5. At the end of Phase 2, a full-scale, 2-stage sub-orbital modular vehicle will have flown. More »

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