Determining the Economic Plausibility of Dual Manifesting Reusable Launch Vehicles and Reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicles for the Replenishment of Military Satellites
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Pagination or Media Count:
Currently, the Air Force launches military satellites on expendable launch vehicles to low earth orbit LEO, and with the use of a chemical upper stage or an apogee kick motor, moves the satellite to a higher orbit. This launch procedure is extremely costly because it requires additional launch preparations, technology considerations, equipment, and fuel. Also, the additional mass of the chemical upper stage causes a larger, and thus more expensive, launch vehicle to be required. An economical alternative is to utilize reusable launch vehicles RLVs and reusable orbital launch vehicles ROTVs. This concept could possibly achieve even greater savings if satellites were dual manifested on the launch vehicles. This thesis determines - by varying mass capacity of RLVs, the cost per kg of RLV mass capacity, and the satellite cost per kg - when, within a given scenario, the savings of dual manifesting is at least ten percent of the cost of single manifesting by developing a dual manifesting algorithm and simulation to analyze possible savings.
- Unmanned Spacecraft