2011

Multidisciplinary Tool for Systems Analysis of Planetary Entry, Descent, and Landing

Systems analysis of a planetary entry (SAPE), descent, and landing (EDL) is a multidisciplinary activity in nature. SAPE improves the performance of the systems analysis team by automating and streamlining the process, and this improvement can reduce the errors that stem from manual data transfer among discipline experts.

SAPE is capable of analyzing and sizing certain classes of planetary probles, as demonstrated by sample structural topologies for Pathfinder probe." class="caption">SAPE is a multidisciplinary tool for systems analysis of planetary EDL for Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Titan. It performs EDL systems analysis for any planet, operates cross-platform (i.e., Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems), uses existing software components and open-source software to avoid software licensing issues, performs low-fidelity systems analysis in one hour on a computer that is comparable to an average laptop, and keeps discipline experts in the analysis loop.

SAPE uses Python, a platform-independent, open-source language, for integration and for the user interface. Development has relied heavily on the object-oriented programming capabilities that are available in Python. Modules are provided to interface with commercial and government off-the-shelf software components (e.g.,thermal protection systems and finite-element analysis). SAPE currently includes the following analysis modules: geometry, trajectory, aerodynamics, aerothermal, thermal protection system, and interface for structural sizing.

This work was done by Jamshid A. Samareh of Langley Research Center. LAR-17821-1

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