Undergraduate Team Space Transportation Design Competition
Design of Reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicle
Many recent space transportation studies suggest the use of Earth–Moon Lagrangian Points L1 or L2 as a gateway for Lunar, Near Earth Asteroid, and Mars exploration. The intent of the reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), which is the subject of this RFP is to support a Lagrangian Point Gateway Station hosting a Reusable Lunar Lander.
Design a reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) capable of transporting unmanned and manned payloads between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Earth–Moon Lagrangian Points L1 (EML1) or L2 (EML2). After delivering payload the OTV must be capable to remain at EML1 or EML2 for at least 30 days and then return payload back to LEO. The OTV servicing will take place in LEO and propellant loading will be accomplished using Propellant Depot. Design of the Propellant Depot is not a part of this RFP. The design team only needs to identify the type and the amount of propellant required by the OTV. The OTV and the Propellant Depot will be stationed in 400 km AMSL circular LEO with 28° inclination. The OTV payload capability shall be 50,000 lbs from LEO to EML1 and 15,000 lbs from EML1 to LEO. Each transfer (from LEO to EML1 and from EML1 to LEO) should not exceed 6 days. The life of the OTV shall be 5 years and the OTV shall be capable of at least 10 missions to EML1 or EML2. The design team can consider use of aero-breaking.
While the economics of any design is critical to its success, the emphasis of this competition is on the technical aspects of the OTV system architecture. The project will require a multi-disciplinary team of students. Traditional aerospace engineering disciplines such as structures, propulsion, flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, and optimization will be involved. Teams will make significant design decisions regarding the configuration and characteristics of their preferred system. The design team should also identify and address any risks and challenges that are unique to the proposed system.