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Application of aerogravity assist with active cooling and thermal propulsion to the solar probe mission

AuthorMurakami, David;
KeywordsAerodynamics; Automobile cooling systems; Cooling; Interplanetary flight; Orbital transfer; Orbits; Probes; Parker Engineering
AbstractAerogravity assist is an orbital transfer technique that enhances the effect of gravity assist maneuvers by utilizing aerodynamic lift in addition to gravity. This enables greater turning angles from a planetary assist, potentially cutting years off a conventional gravity assisted trajectory with multiple flybys or significantly reducing required launch C3. One of the major challenges are the extreme heat loads and heat fluxes present when flying through atmospheres at interplanetary speeds. Incorporating an active cooling system and reusing the heated coolant as propellant may be an elegant way to address both the heating and drag loss problems simultaneously. This concept is explored in the context of the Solar Probe mission, which aims to send a spacecraft to a close orbit of the Sun. The aerodynamic, aerothermal, cooling, and propulsion requirements are examined for a 44 solar radii perihelion trajectory and a notional vehicle concept is presented.
Year of Publication2014
Journal50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 2014
Number of Pages
Date Published