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978-3-8439-0518-3, Reihe Raumfahrt
Conceptual Design of Modular Space Transportation and Infrastructure Systems for Future Human Exploration Missions
153 Seiten, Dissertation Universität Stuttgart (2012), Softcover, A5
In this thesis, the feasibility and the potential benefits of modular transportation systems and orbital infrastructure elements for future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit were assessed. The background for the future exploration scenarios was developed by gathering and comparing recent plans and concepts of the European and international space agencies. A set of design reference missions was defined, in order to establish a common baseline for the exploration strategy and to make the different plans and visions more comparable among each other. The generic overall mission architecture synchronized the individual events and helped to generate missions with growing complexity. The three distinct reference missions for this study included human lunar exploration with surface activities, human space flights to near Earth objects and a human Mars mission.
The characterized missions were investigated, in order to identify the involved and required mission elements. A modular approach was selected to break down the elements into functional units. This method carries the basic ideas of scalability and flexibility by using a discrete set of common building blocks for a larger variety of possible combinations. Within the scope of this thesis a set of almost thirty modules was designed. This number of variants was created to analyze the effect of the parameter variation. The deviations included the total lift-off mass for each module, the degree of autonomy and the storage method for cryogenic propellants.
A computer program (SHIPYARD) was developed for the network based, computer aided conceptual design of the modules and spacecrafts. The program simulates a general spacecraft model with common interdependencies between a set of ten typical subsystems. The values of power, volume and mass are calculated bottom up from individual components to subsystem level and finally to spacecraft or module level.
The emphasis of the mission design was put on the infrastructure and transportation elements. Main elements were the in-space transportation vehicles, the servicing and supply vehicles and orbital infrastructure like a future space station.
A transportation survey was conducted to evaluate the influence of three parameters: the maximum payload mass capability of future launch vehicles, the benefits of the utilization of a space tug vehicle and the potential benefits of orbital re-fueling infrastructure elements.