Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Minimization of Initial Launch Weight using OTIS


Earl Smith Jr.


  • Timothy Usher, Doctor, California State University San Bernardino
  • Kurt Kloesel, Doctor, NASA Dryden

Traditional payload delivery computation methods require or initialize with a given launch weight and proceed to optimize/maximize payload delivered to LEO(Low Earth Orbit). However, more practical scenarios involve a given amount of payload delivered to specific LEO conditions; the problem becomes the determination of the minimum amount of total launch weight required, providing a specific connection with mission goals and design constraints. Traditional methods employ forward propagating techniques to obtain the optimal mass via scanning and multiple iterative calculations. We used the software package Optimal Trajectories by Implicit Simulation(OTIS) to solve the problem of obtaining minimal launch weight given the orbital mass and LEO conditions. In addition to meeting the computational requirements, OTIS contains an extensive set of libraries and examples that provide and ideal starting point for this study. In particular, we present a comparison of results for extrinsic forward propagating methods with implicit backward methods.

Presented by:

Earl Smith Jr.


Saturday, November 17, 2012




Broome Library

Presentation Type:

Poster Presentation