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First Report Alessandro Campochiaro

1 2 3 4 Introduction to Space Transportation Systems Expendable and Reusable Launch Vehicles Mission Analysis Main Principles of Launch Base Design, Facilities and Auxiliary Systems VEGA (Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata) Ground Stations 1 3 3

5 8 10

5 6

List of Figures
1 2 3 4 Orbits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Debris with diameter > 10 cm Lift o Trajectory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 4 6

Launch Bases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Introduction to Space Transportation Systems

Environment: Water resources, climatic changes, pollutions treatment, prevision

The access to Space is important for dierent subject:

and management of environmental crisis and major natural risks. Science: Fundamental contribution to scientic researches on numerous topics such as exploration of Universe, knowledge of the Earth, Origin of life, Fundamental physics, planetary exploration (mainly Mars and Asteroids).

Information and Mobility:

Development and use of future  link technologies as

Multimedia diusion point/multi-points, Tele-education, telemedicine, associated applications, telecommunication technologies, defense and Security. The orbits of interest are:

Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) in which a satellite always appears motionless above any point on Earth. Its altitude is about 36600 km from the Earth surface and its inclination is 0. This orbit is of great interest in particular for telecommunication satellites.

Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) it is the orbit the most frequently aimed at by launchers, they inject the satellites into GEO close to perigee. Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) obtained synchronizing the rotation of the orbital plan (precession of the Ascending Node the Sun (circular altitude

and the revolution of the Earth around

600 km to 1200 km, inclination

97 to 99).


characteristic of this kind of orbits is that from the satellite you can observe the Earth surface every day with the same light conditions and this is very useful for observation satellites.

Low Earth Orbits (LEO) constellations (1000 km to 2000 km, highly inclined 70 or more) characterized by short orbital period ( 1h 30m) and very good Earth coverage.

Medium Earth Orbits (MEO) constellations (20.000 km to 25.000 km, highly inclined 55 to 60) characterized by long orbital period ( 12 h) and very good Earth coverage (essentially used for Navigation).

Figure 1: Orbits

Other current market for space missions are the International Space Station (ISS, 350 km to 450 km and 51.6), scientic mission (Planetary exploration, Escape missions, Lagrange points) and, at mid term, the Space tourism and Manned planetary exploration. An example of future market is the Space Debris Removal. In fact from 1960 to January 2010 the debris grow up until reach roughly 18000 large objects in space (Figure 2) and collision risk in Sun Synchronous Orbit today is comparable to the unreliability of the satellite or of its launcher.

Figure 2: Debris with diameter > 10 cm

There are four main debris sources: launches, aging of materials (Thermal Protections, electrical cells . . . ), fragmentations (voluntary or not) and collisions. If nothing is done the situation may become catastrophic so to avoid this problems NASA, ESA CNOCE and others used numerous models to validate the evolution of orbital density in time and to nd a correct strategy to solve that problem. Another key point of the Space Transport System is the Environment. The launcher has to sustain all the loads or excitations encountered on ground and in ight:

Wind on ground and during ight (associated to gust) Aerodynamic: steady or unsteady Acoustics at take o and at the beginning of ight Dynamic loads Shocks due to pyrotechnical systems Heat transfer due to sun, engine, cryogenic tanks, and aerothermal uxes General loads calculated at dierent steps of the project using mathematical models that can be validated by tests.

To sustain this loads the primary structures is mainly made of steel, aluminum alloys and/or carbon ber reinforced polymer (CFRP). The design aims at the best compromise between high strength level and lightweight concept. The choice on materials also comes out from a compromise between production and operational aspects, the keys parameter are: strength, density, fracture toughness, manufacturing, fuel compatibility, corrosion resistance. The future trends of Space Transport System are to improve the knowledge of complex phenomena and the technological maturity, to get a better modeling and simulation of these phenomena. This is possible only with a strong loop between Systems studies, Research&Tecnology and Technological demonstrators.

Expendable and Reusable Launch Vehicles

The Launchers can be divided in two big families: the Reusable (RLV) and the Expandable (ELV). The rst ones are designed to be recovered after the end of the mission and reused for other launches. The seconds have the capability to insert the payload in the desiderated orbit and then they are released in the atmosphere following a ballistic trajectory. The thrust is supplied by the propulsion system that can be composed both by Solid Rocket Motors (SRM) and Liquid Rocket Motors (LRM). To be able to full the mission the launcher is composed by several stages. This means that it is divided into 2 or more parts that are separated from the payload when they exhaust the propellant (mainly the empty tanks and the engine). The staging permit to increase the propellant fraction releasing the dead weights during the ascent and the number of stages depends on the type of mission and propellant (the minimum weight at lift-o for LEO is obtained with 2-4 stages). There are 2 kinds of staging: tandem and parallel. In the rst one the stage mounted on top of the stage



and every stage is started when the previous one as ended

its mission. In parallel staging instead there is a central core on which a certain number of boosters is attached so all the engines are ignited at the same time. Launchers can be classied by their staging characteristics:

SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit): reaches orbit from the surface of a body without jettisoning hardware, expending only propellants. TSTO (Two Stage To Orbit): it's composed by two stages in tandem. Strap-on Boosters with stages in parallel with a central core.

Mission Analysis

For the optimization of the ascending trajectory of the launcher it's necessary to consider the following constrains (Figure 3):

Vertically lift-o. Azimuth compatible with base position. Maximum acceleration

4g 6g .

Constrains on lateral loads.

Constrains on the aerodynamic forces. Limits on the thermal ux and the total heath.

Figure 3: Lift o Trajectory

These constrains limit the starting acceleration, the attach angle, the dynamic pressure and the altitude for the fairing release. The control laws foresees:

A vertical lift-o until

50 km 100 km.

Low angle of incidence to spend less time possible in the rst part of the atmosphere (zero-lift gravity turn). Intermediate maneuver of pitch-over (about 10 sec). Flight with the optimal direction of the thrust after 50 km of altitude.

At rst the launcher goes up vertically, gaining both vertical speed and altitude, during this portion of the launch gravity acts directly against the thrust of the rocket, lowering its vertical acceleration. These losses can be minimized by executing the next phase of the launch, the pitch over maneuver, as soon as possible. The pitch over should also be carried out while the vertical velocity is small to avoid large aerodynamic loads on the vehicle during the maneuver. This maneuver consists of the rocket gimbaling its engine slightly to direct some of its thrust to one side. This force creates a net torque on the ship, turning it so that it no longer points vertically. The pitch over angle varies with the launch vehicle and is included in the rocket's initial guidance system.

After the pitch over is complete the engines are reset to point straight down the axis of the rocket again. This small steering maneuver is the only time during an ideal gravity turn ascent in which the thrust must be used for purposes of steering. This pitch over maneuver serves two purposes: it turns the rocket slightly so that its ight path is no longer vertical and it places the rocket on the correct heading for its ascent to orbit. After the pitch over, rocket's angle of attack is adjusted to zero for the remainder of its climb to orbit. By this operation the lateral aerodynamic loads are reduced and negligible lift force during the ascent are produced. The last phase of the launch trajectory is the vacuum. In this phase the last stage of the launcher inserts the payload on the predicted transfer orbit. Even if the gravity turn trajectory uses minimal steering thrust, it isn't always the most ecient possible launch procedure. In fact aspects like, dynamic pressure, atmospheric drag, maximum engine thrust, can make the gravity turn less ecient. To optimize the trajectory there are dierent methods:

Direct methods. Indirect methods. Genetic methods.

The problem is that the convergence to the optimal solution depends on the choice of the starting solution and most of the methods stop at a non optimal solution. The genetic method searches the optimum solution basing on the genetics principia of the natural selection. The indirect method for the optimization of a space mission needs to solve a boundary value problem in which this starting values are unknown (date of lift-o and y-by, velocity, initial mass etc).

Main Principles of Launch Base Design, Facilities and Auxiliary Systems


The Launch Base denes the inclination of the nal orbit. It is demonstrated that if the latitude of the Base, the minimum inclination respects the following rule:


of the orbit that can be reached

imin L
Besides, less is the latitude of the Base more is the rotation velocity of the Earth that can be used to increase the velocity of the spacecraft in orbit. Those two characteristics inuence the choice of the launch base and in particular is preferable to have the base near the equator



The existing bases of launch are:

Vandenberg, Cape Canaveral and Wallops in the USA Alcantara in Brazil Baikonour, Plesetsk in Russia Others in India, China and Japan (Figure 4)

There is also a Sea Launch that is a mobile base.

Figure 4: Launch Bases

The main European base of launch is the base of Kourou in the French Guyana. It has an optimal position thanks to its latitude (nearly 5) and because on the East there is the Atlantic ocean so it is possible to safely release the exhaust stages of the launcher. The Kourou base is composed by:

BEAP: Btiment essais tages a poudre for the ground tests of the launchers. BIP: Btiment Intgration Propulseur for the integration of the engine. BLA: Base de Lancement Ariane for the launch of Ariane launchers. CDL: Centre Lancement. ELA: Ensemble de Lancement Ariane for the Ariane assembly. EPCU: Ensemble prparation charge utile where the payload is assembled. SLV: Site de Lancement Vega. UPG: Usine de Production Propergol Guyane that is the factory where the P80 is produced. ZLV: Zone de Lancement Vega. BPZ: Btiment de Prparation Zero where the Zero stages are prepared for the launch and the pyrotechnics are installed.

The basic mission of the Ground Segment is to provide infrastructures, systems and means for:

Transportation and storage of P80, other stages and payload. Campaign: Integration and acceptance tests of the rst stage P80. Integration and verication of the payload, stages Z23, Z9, AVUM, pyrodevices, batteries and interstages. Final preparation of the Launch Base.

The launch zone will incorporate a

mobile gantry

(air-conditioned) with its rail track, a

xed launch table, the "bunker", an umbilical mast and existing ame chutes adapted as necessary to meet acoustic requirements. The facilities shall withstand climatic conditions encountered in French Guyana and launch eects. Validation of the SLV, including degraded modes, software and procedures, will be carried out on mock-ups of the launcher and simulators, at least for electrical, mechanical and uids equipment, prior to the rst launch campaign. Constraints induced on Ariane 5 operations will be kept to a minimum during the development and production phases. The P80 stage (the rst stage of Vega launcher) will be stored in its production zone or in the gantry and it will be transferred from the BIP to the SLV by road in vertical position. The nal acceptance tests of the rst stage are performed in MG after nalization of its integration. All the others stages are transported from Europe to Kourou harbor or Cayenne airport (Interstage 1/2, AVUM + I/S 3/4, Payload adaptor), or only by boat ( Z23, Z9+ I/S 3/4) to the SLV within their own container. They are stored in existing buildings which could be adapted to Vega needs. They arrive fully integrated and tested, except the pyrotechnic devices, snap rings, cutting cords, SRM pyrocharges, ESI and some specic deliverables (batteries, thermal blanquettes) planned to be shipped separately. To reduce recurrent and development costs, existing facilities will be adapted/used for the Vega ground segment. The launch zone will be the ELA1 and the control room will be the CDL3; the launch base utilities (telecommunications, energy supply, uids, gases, water and the access road system, etc.) will be used; the Z23 and Z9 stages will be stored and tted with pyrocharges in the existing pyrotechnic zone (BPZ); small pyrotechnic equipment and launcher batteries will be prepared in already existing facilities (Arianespace pyro lab, BABAR); the upper composite will be integrated in the EPCU; telemetry, ground tracking station and safety facilities will be compatible with those used for Ariane 5. The ZLV (Zone de Lancement Vega) is located on the former ELA1 site, it includes:

Table and pallet supporting the launcher Mast serving to supply power, electrical lines and ventilation to the payload Causeway with rails Anti-lightening and lighting masts Double ducts with no cover and no water injection Low inclination road to slide P80 (1.5 inclination) Service road for Z9 and Z23 (6 inclination) Bunker

Mobile Gantry equipped for integration and preparation of the VEGA launcher FGSE and Fluid Systems for interfacing the launcher (AVUM LPS and RACS) Security System Power Station 1D60 (to convert 20 kV in 410 V, break and no-break) and LV power supply distribution Radio, Video, Sound and Electrical Communication/Supply Networks for the launcher and payloads

The SLV (Site de Lancement Vega) includes ZLV and external interfaces:

Dedicated, independent operational control and monitoring system (CCV) in CDL3/Bunker/MG New Payload Command and control (CCPH) in EPCU Extension for VEGA needs of existing general services M&C (CCS) in CDL3/Bunker/MG Adaptation of Interfaces with BLA, ELA Adaptation of transportation means New ZPZ in ex-zone ZES U Adaptation of Oces

ZLV will use the following Ariane Launch Base (BLA) facilities: dedicated launcher facilities (Telemetry stations and Radars) for the ight phase (telemetry, tracking, location, ight safety and optics), meteorological data, general ground facilities, EPCUs, storage sites (pyro zone, storable propellant zone), transfer facilities (convoys including UPG transporter, roadways), data post-ight analysis facilities (SYSTA, LETNA, SEV) for TM data processing, Jupiter (Mission Control Centre), Project room (Kourou, Colleferro).

VEGA (Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata)

Vega program started with the interest on the development of a European small launcher, conrmed on the basis of two main factors: the general trend towards small missions and the opportunity, thanks to existing technologies and facilities, to limit the costs of development and facilities. The possible missions have an inclination range between 5.2 and the SSO (Sun Synchronous Orbit, 90 degrees), an altitude range between 300 km and 1500 km and a payload mass range between 300 kg and 2000 kg. VEGA will be also capable of multiple launches, injecting multiple payloads into orbits. The development and production of the launch system are constricted to a prime contractor for the launcher development (ELV S.p.A.) while Avio S.p.A. is the prime contractor for the P80 stage production and the P80 Demonstrator Programme. Vitrociset is the prime contractor for the Ground Segment. Vega is composed by: three solid propellant stages (P80, Zero23, Zero9) and a fourth liquid propellant stage (AVUM). The A.V.U.M. (Attitude Control and Vernier Upper Module) is a pressure fed liquid necessary to improve the accuracy of the primary injection (compensation of solid propulsion performance scatter). Besides its duty is also to give the last part of

needed to the mission in order to circularize the orbit. The

AVUM also provides roll control during the nal boost phases and the three-axis control

during ballistic phases and before payload separation.

It may also be used to achieve

unconventional orbits as required in particular cases for specic scientic missions. The avionic system of the launcher consists of three parts: the GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control), the SAS (Electric Safeguard Subsystem), and The TMS (Telemetry subsystem). VEGA avionics architecture is based on a non-redundant system except for the implementation of safety functions. VEGA Ground Segment consists of the following subsystems:

Mobile Gantry:

covers the launcher and umbilical mast in its forward position, It is composed by:

and provides an enclosed chamber for integration operations.

Framework Structure and Base, Cladding and Roong, Launcher doors and Travelling Crane Shutter, Walkways and Fixed Platforms, Stairways, Rooms and Trade Works, Escape Slide, Travelling Crane, Inatable Seal System, Lift, Translation System, Platform Shutters, Elevating Platforms. The Gantry main structure consists of a steel framework composed of several dierent beam sections, available in the commercial market, connected by bolting. The structure is wind-braced in order to resist to the wind action, and to give an adequate mechanical stiness to the whole assembly. The cladding and the roong are made of sandwich panels with aluminum skins and an insulating core obtained by expanded rigid foam. The gantry has 17 oors equipped with xed walkways in order to assure the personnel circulation for facility maintenance and launcher operations. The translation system allows the gantry to move between the forward and backward positions using an autonomous motorization, it will travel on the  Crossway of the former ELA1 launch site on the existing railway. The translation system motorization is hydraulic type and allows a translation speed of 5 m/min with a lower speed of 1m/min at the nal phase of translation, in order to move the gantry from launch to back position in less than 20 min. This translation system is designed to move a total mass of 1315 tons.

Umbilical Mast: the main functions are installation, adjustment, and maintenance of release and retrieval systems for the POP and POE umbilical connectors, distribution of the uid and energy networks required for the launcher and ground equipment up to launcher lift-o, personal access to this equipment during the integration phases and preparation of the launch. It is composed by a welded steel caisson structure with a light framework used as oor frame, there are 12 levels inside the mast, spaced at regular intervals, at each of which a oor is installed.

Launch Pad: supports the launcher for integration operations and preparation for launch, allows for various access routings of personnel and tools. It consists of a steel structure that constitutes the base on which the VEGA launcher is positioned during the assembling and pre-launching phases. The main functions of the Launch Pad and its subsystems, are: supporting the P80 for its transfer from its production site up to launch position on the table, supporting the launcher, taking its growth potential into account, for integration operations and preparation for launch (maximum weight of 210 tons), allowing for owing out of the P80 jet, allowing for various access routings of personnel and tools for launch preparation operations. It is composed of:

Table: a steel structure that supports the rails for lower pallet displacement, and allows the anchorage of the upper pallet to support the launch vehicle. Pallet: with upper and lower pallet. The upper pallet is a metallic structure made up of welded steel plates, with a conical central hole to allow the P80's

gases to go through. The lower part is removed at the end of the P80 transfer to launch area operation.

Access under the nozzle. Dolly interface.

The rst launch of VEGA, the qualication ight mission, has been dened taking into consideration the launcher qualication objectives, safety constraints, passenger needs. The main passenger of the ight is the LARES experiment developed by ASI; this spacecraft is a satellite laser ranging (SLR) experiment. The selected trajectory has an altitude of 1450 km, inclination of 71 and payload total mass of 700 kg. Actually Vega maiden ight is planned for the end of 2011.

Ground Stations

The performance of a communication space link is measured by a Link Power Budget. A link budget allocates the available satellite resources to accommodate the parameters of the transmitting and receiving earth station. The link budget starts with transmitter power that is traced through various amplications and losses, which determine the strength and quality of the received signal from the launcher to the ground station. The two important parameters for the receiving system are the receiving antenna gain G, and the receiving system noise temperature T. The latter is the sum of the noises generated by the antenna, the low-noise amplier (LNA) and any elements between the antenna and the LNA. The G over T ratio is called the gure of merit of the receiving system. Ground stations can be improved with a larger antenna gain G (larger diameter antenna), or a lower noise temperature T (mainly better low-noise amplier). Due to the distance between satellite and ground station, there is an attenuation of the transmitted power. This attenuation takes into account:

Free path losses: are the losses due to the distance between the transmitting and the receiving antenna. Atmospheric losses: attenuation and refraction, precipitation (rain, fog, snow, sleet). Atmospheric absorption: the gas in the atmosphere absorbs part of the energy from electromagnetic wave in the telecommunication link. Faraday Eect: is the rotation of the electromagnetic vector that causes the rotation of the plane of polarization and, consequently, the distortion of the signal. Misalignment loss: are the losses due to the non perfect alignment between receiving and transmitting antennas. Additional losses: Low-elevation eects are important for low or medium-orbit satellites and other losses are due to antenna pointing errors (coming out from the accuracy of the attitude control system) and thermal distortion of the antenna reector.

The ground station's tracking system can be represented in the following main components:

Antenna Reector and RF Subsystems.


Base-Band Unit: is connected with the downlink chain (IF input) and the uplink chain (IF output) to receive telemetry (TLM) and send the TLC. Antenna Servo Unit and ACU. Front-End Controller. Timing and Frequency Reference Subsystem. Local Monitoring and Control. Test and Calibration equipments.

The last ones consists in: RF and IF Test and Calibration, Short Loop Test (to test the Base-Band functionalities by measuring the Bit Error Rate, the Bit and Frame locking and two-way ranging calibration), Long Loop Test (a calibration horn is mounted on the reector to test the uplink and downlink chains), G/T measurements, Servo-Mechanisms test and calibration, Antenna Speed and Acceleration (is given a step command in Azimuth or Elevation and is recorded the response, the speed and acceleration parameters are selectable to calibrate the response), Tracking test (an external S-Band frequency beacon is used and the antenna is moved around the beacon to determine the maximum speed at which the track happens). The tracking procedure employed by an earth station antenna depends on the relative dimensions of the antenna beam width and the window of the satellite. The worst case is when the station is located at the sub satellite location. If not, the amplitude of the satellite motion as seen from the earth station is smaller. Two techniques are used for automatic tracking: Monopulse or multi-horn tracking (involves excitation of the antenna polar response with a zero in its axis which permits the antenna to be directed so that the received signal is at a minimum), Step by step tracking (also called step-track or hill climb, it is achieved by a search for the maximum reception of the received signal).