Preliminary mission design for proposed NuSol probe

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Messick, Kyle
Dutta, Atri

A solar neutrino detector has never own in space. NuSol is a proposed mission to y a solar neutrino detector close to the Sun in order to conduct unique science experiments that cannot be realized by detectors on Earth. This research presents a preliminary trajectory design for the NuSol mission in order to accomplish the science goals, taking into account operational and speci ed mission cost constraints, given launch window, and an overall mission duration. To quickly check through a diverse design space of possible mission solutions, a mission design algorithm was developed in MATLAB. The mission design procedure used in this thesis is based on the standard patched-conics methodology to break the mission into a sequence of two-body problems, starting with a hyperbolic Earth escape trajectory and followed by elliptic heliocentric orbits yielding multiple planetary arrival phases. Minimization of the nal perihelion is done by utilizing multiple consecutive gravity assist (GA) maneuvers to reshape the initial trajectory after a launch and departure from Earth. As launch costs prove to be a substantial share of the overall mission cost, the study is restricted to initial launch energies which equal 100 or less. This study provides insight on the closest reachable distance to the Sun when given a speci ed wet mass and launch vehicle. The work also addresses many issues in trade o s that arise in multi-GA maneuver mission design studies. These issues include mass trade o s at launch as well as during the heliocentric transfer when comparing ballistic and powered GA maneuvers. One of the greatest challenges the research works to overcome is the computational time and resources that are required when analyzing a vast mission design space. The results for the study indicate that a currently available launch vehicle can deploy the 1,400 kg spacecraft housing the neutrino detector in a Earth-Venus transfer orbit, which will eventually reach below 20 Solar Radii within the stipulated time of 5 years.

Table of Content
Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering