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Multidisciplinary Design Under Uncertainty for Entry Vehicles

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Michigan Engineering Services, LLC
2890 Carpenter Road, Suite 1900 Ann Arbor, MI 48108-1000
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Multidisciplinary Design Under Uncertainty for Entry Vehicles
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNA06AA05C
Award Amount: $599,461.00


The physical difficulty of designing entry vehicles originates from the large degree of coupling between the various disciplines involved in the design. Every subsystem design decision has far reaching consequences that must be evaluated in a multidisciplinary fashion in order to assess the impact on the weight and the performance of the entire vehicle. The disciplines which must be accounted and integrated during the design are: trajectory optimization, guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) technology, aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics, thermal-structural analysis, and thermal protection system (TPS) development. Previous efforts in developing a collaborative or a multidisciplinary optimization process never considered how uncertainty in the atmospheric conditions, in the entry parameters of the vehicle, in the condition of the vehicle during entry, and in the performance of the TPS will influence the design and provide a risk assessment for a mission. The work completed during the Phase I effort demonstrated that it is feasible to develop a tool for multidisciplinary optimization under uncertainty (MDO-U) for entry vehicle design, and the new information which is gained is insightful and meaningful. The functionality and the value of the new MDO-U design tool were demonstrated through a case study where MDO-U was performed for the HL-20 vehicle under a LEO consideration. During Phase II a general purpose and user friendly MDO-U product which can be used in entry

Principal Investigator:

Nick Vlahopoulos
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Christina Vlahopoulos
Small Business Information at Submission:

Michigan Engineering Services, LLC
2890 Carpenter Road, Suite 1900 Ann Arbor, MI 48108

EIN/Tax ID: 900100742
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No