Houston, TX 77005
4:00 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
On Campus | Alumni
A significant portion of the Orion design effort has focused on balancing mass with performance. High-level performance metrics include abort success rates, lunar surface coverage, landing accuracy and touchdown loads. These metrics may be converted to parameters that affect mass, such as ballast for stabilizing the abort vehicle, propellant to achieve increased lunar coverage or extended missions, or ballast to increase the lift-to-drag ratio to improve entry and landing performance. The Orion Flight Dynamics team was tasked to perform analyses to evaluate many of these trades. These analyses not only provide insight into the physics of each particular trade but, in aggregate, they illustrate the processes used by Orion to balance performance and mass margins, and thereby make design decisions. Lessons learned can be gleaned from a review of these studies which will be useful to other spacecraft system designers. These lessons fall into several categories, including: appropriate application of Monte Carlo analysis in design trades, managing margin in a highly mass-constrained environment, and the use of requirements to balance margin between subsystems and components. This presentation provides a review of some of the trades and analyses conducted by the Flight Dynamics team, as well as systems engineering lessons learned.