Document Type

Honors Thesis


This thesis intends to remove underlying conceptual assumptions for spacecraft design and build a parameterized, physics-based approach based on geometry to generate a continuum of re-entry vehicle configurations. These vehicle configurations are then assessed by their payload, orbital and atmospheric maneuvering, and descent performance capabilities. This assessment is designed such that different missions on different planetary bodies can be analyzed. In addition to selected historical configurations, the specific geometric parameters are then analyzed to determine how specific changes in certain parameters affect aircraft performance. In this way, the values for basic vehicle geometry can be selected in the proper combination to form the best configuration for a given mission. Lastly, a regression methodology is established to use this physics-based model to converge on optimal designs initialized by selected point configurations.

Publication Date






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