Launch Vehicle Analysis Tool (LVA) is a computer program for preliminary design structural analysis of launch vehicles. Before LVA was developed, in order to analyze the structure of a launch vehicle, it was necessary to estimate its weight, feed this estimate into a program to obtain prelaunch and flight loads, then feed these loads into structural and thermal analysis programs to obtain a second weight estimate. If the first and second weight estimates differed, it was necessary to reiterate these analyses until the solution converged. This process generally took six to twelve person-months of effort. LVA incorporates text to structural layout converter, configuration drawing, mass properties generation, pre-launch and flight loads analysis, loads output plotting, direct solution structural analysis, and thermal analysis subprograms. These subprograms are integrated in LVA so that solutions can be iterated automatically. LVA incorporates expert-system software that makes fundamental design decisions without intervention by the user. It also includes unique algorithms based on extensive research. The total integration of analysis modules drastically reduces the need for interaction with the user. A typical solution can be obtained in 30 to 60 minutes. Subsequent runs can be done in less than two minutes.
This program was written by Alan D. Philips of Marshall Space Flight Center. LVA contains code modules previously written by Carl E. Colley while he was a NASA civil servant. For further information, contact the Marshall Commercial Technology Office at (256) 544-2615. MFS-31694