Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Design and Realisation of ESA's Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) Mission

The Design and Realisation of the IXV Mission Analysis and Flight Mechanics


Rodigro et al


The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) is a suborbital re-entry demonstrator successfully launched in February 2015 focusing on the in-flight demonstration of a lifting body system with active aerodynamic control surfaces. This paper presents an overview of the Mission Analysis and Flight Mechanics of the IXV vehicle, which comprises computation of the End-to-End (launch to splashdown) design trajectories, characterisation of the Entry Corridor, assessment of the Mission Performances through Monte Carlo campaigns, contribution to the aerodynamic database, analysis of the Visibility and link budget from Ground Stations and GPS, support to safety analyses (off nominal footprints), specification of the Centre of Gravity box, selection of the Angle of Attack trim line to be flown and characterisation of the Flying Qualities performances. An initial analysis and comparison with the raw flight data obtained during the flight will be discussed and first lessons learned derived.

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