The Mission Analysis activities of RRTB have been concluded

The video shows the propagation from Main Engine Cut Off (MECO), to Decelerator Recovery System (DRS) deployment. Five seconds after MECO, the flip over maneuver initiates. Once flip over terminates, the boost back guidance algorithm triggers the maneuver in the most convenient instant to mitigate initial conditions dispersions. Soon after boostback, the aerodynamic drag device is deployed. The suborbital (6x) and entry (1x) phases that follow are propagated in 6DoF, so as to capture the features of those passive phases. Trajectories rely on a dedicated aerodynamic database built upon hypersonic, supersonic and subsonic Wind Tunnel Test measurements performed by VKI. The effect of the uncertainties can be spotted in terms of non zero angle of attack, sideslip and bank angles. Visualization ends with the deployment of the drag device, while the trajectory simulation continues until Mid Air Catch. Mission Analysis activities led to the definition and the evaluation of the key performance indicators as well as landing accuracy and mission success figures. Now we leave the floor to GNC for the consolidated design of representative Guidance Navigation and Control functions and the verification of the CONOPS in the RRTB Functional Engineering Simulator (FES) with models-in-the-loop for the first stage actuators (e.g. RCS, main engine, IMU…). Stay tuned!

DS4. Structure, Reentry and Flight Stability 2nd Iteration

The DS4 session took place on May 12th 2022, and it was oriented towards presenting and reviewing the recent advances in all technical areas of the project. The main focus was on discussing the results and conclusions obtained from the Wind Tunnel Test Campaign as part of the studies about the vehicle’s aerodynamics as well as the design and analysis of the vehicle structure and reusable cryogenic tanks. Furthermore, new approaches were discussed and selected to tackle the technical issues related to the original system concept and to better contribute to the completion of the RRTB project goals. This meeting is the starting point for the second iteration of the structure and the GNC system.

VKI Lecture Series 2022

In April 2022, both Pangea Aerospace and Von Karman Institute (VKI) participated in the VKI Lecture Series on Launcher Reusability hosted by VKI. Both institutions presented papers on the recent studies and analysis of RRTB related to the aerodynamics field. A technical note was generated for the session called ‘Aerodynamic design including static and dynamic stability analysis’ where it is explained how the complementarity between numerical and experimental methods were used to accurately predict the aerodynamic characteristics of capturing devices and reusable launchers. For the RRTB project, the topic of interest was how dynamic stability is tackled using a combination of CFD and wind tunnel tests to cover the different configurations of the MESO launcher.

Mid-Term meeting, December 3th 2021

Once the first half of the project was completed, the mid-term meeting was organized to present the latest results and conclusions obtained in each field of the project. The objective of the session was to provide not only an overview of the work done and the objectives achieved so far, but also to discuss those aspects that need to be reconsidered. The meeting was hosted by Toseda, who organized and coordinated the session.

International Astronautical Congress 2021, Dubai

Pangea Aerospace presented a paper called ‘A novel design approach for a reusable VTOL Micro Launch vehicle’ about the current progress of the RRTB project at the International Astronautical Congress 2021 in Dubai. Thanks to all the partners of the project Elecnor Deimos, Technical University of Munich, Thales Alenia Space, von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, RWTH Aachen University, Heron Engineering and Toseda.

Drop test, October 2021

Last October, Pangea Aerospace performed two 1 km drop tests of its prototype landing system at Esrange, Sweden. Although these tests were not conducted within the framework of the RRTB project, the corresponding data collected have not only been of great value for the company’s future developments in recovery and reusability, but also for the future of the RRTB project, which has been positively affected. Thanks to this, the feasibility of some of the landing system configurations considered within the RRTB has been evaluated in an operational environment, which has made it possible to detect and rethink certain aspects of the design and make the system more effective and efficient.

Guidance Navigation and Control outputs session first iteration (GNC1), July 22th 2021

In July 22nd 2021, the Technische Universität München (TUM) hosted the GNC1 session in which Von Karman Institute, Deimos Space and Pangea Aerospace participated. This meeting was the end of the first GNC loop and it was aimed at analyzing and consolidating the results of the performance, stability and controllability analysis of the landing system, as well as the first re-entry simulation of the vehicle.

Structural requirements and design first iteration (DS3), April 21th 2021

The DS3 was hosted by RWTH University on April 21st 2021. The meeting was aimed at presenting the structural analysis of the MESO rocket first stage and cryogenic tanks, as well as the flight dynamics and vehicle configuration during landing phase. The main objective of the session was to obtain feedback about the topics stated above and get agreements especially at system and tanks structural level.

Mission engineering outputs session first iteration (DS2), October 26th and 27th 2020

The DS2 of the RRTB project took place in October 2020 in a two-day session hosted by Deimos Space. The main purpose of the first meeting was to present the last advances and results obtained up to date, especially about System/Subsystem Architectural Design and Top-Level Requirements and Aeroshape and Preliminary Aerodynamics work, focusing on the MESO architecture, aeroshape, GNC and mission. The consolidation of these key aspects of the vehicle design allowed to continue the aerodynamic studies of and Aeroshape and Preliminary Aerodynamics as well as to start the structural and tanks related-activities within work packages 7 and 8.

Concept design session (DS1), April 16th and 28th 2020

Pangea Aerospace organized the DS1 of the RRTB project in April 2020. It was a two-day session where the explored system concept and mission concept were presented and discussed. The first meeting was focused on debating about the performed studies and considered options, while the aim of the second one was to consolidate the most interesting concepts and select the most suitable ones. The conclusions obtained during the DS1 have been the bases for further progress towards the in-depth definition of the MESO launch vehicle system and mission. Due to the covid-19 worldwide pandemic situation, the DS1 was held by videoconference.

Pangea Aerospace, Barcelona, February 7th 2020

The Kick-Off meeting of RRTB project took place on February 7 th 2020 hosted by Pangea Aerospace in Barcelona. During the one-day meeting, the latest advancements of the MESO launch vehicle and its re-entry and landing technologies were presented to the partners. The second part of the meeting was focused on the presentations from the leaders of each Work-Package.
The next session will be held again in Barcelona on April 16 th 2020.