Minimum Energy Loss Heading Changes for Hypersonic Flight from Orbit

by Russell D. Shaver


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Presentation of an analysis of minimum-energy-loss heading changes for a spacecraft operating in a geocentric orbit near the earth. The velocity requirements of the aerodynamic synergetic mode of transfer and the pure rocket bielliptical transfer are compared. A simple control scheme is devised from the results of the optimization program, indicating that synergetic transfers can be investigated by simple numerical schemes. This Memorandum also discusses various vehicle design problems in relation to minimum energy loss during maneuvers. (See also RM-3231.)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.