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# Institute of Astronautics

## Spacecraft Technology I - WS1011

Rocket Staging
Exercise 2
2 Rocket Staging
2.1 Ariane 5 Thrust
Initially at lift-o of an ARIANE 5 launch vehicle two P230 solid propellant boosters plus the main Vulcain engine
are ignited. The two dierent components of the launch vehicle have the following characteristics:
Eective exhaust velocities:
v
,V ulcain
= 3285 m/s
v
,P230
= 2355 m/s
Mass ows:
m
V ulcain
= 255 kg/s
m
P230,booster
= 1835 kg/s
Compute the average eective exhaust velocity for the propulsion system as a whole and from this also the average
specic impulse.
Now we have parallel staging. The two boosters and the main engine are running simultaneously. Our total thrust
can easily be combined adding up the three thrust sources:
F
,tot
=
k

i=1
m
p,i
v
,i
F
,tot
= m
V ulcain
v
,V ulcain
+ 2 m
P230
v
,P230
= 9, 480, 525 N
For the average I
SP
we add the three mass ows to nd the total mass ow
m
tot
= m
V ulcain
+ 2 m
P230
= 3925 kg/s
With this mass ow we can compute the average v

and I
SP
v
,avg
=
F
,tot
m
tot
= 2415.42 m/s
I
SP,avg
= 246.22 s
Technische Universitat M unchen
Institute of Astronautics
Boltzmannstr. 15
D-85748 Garching
www.lrt.mw.tum.de
1 Tutor:
Dipl.-Ing. R. Purschke
Room: Mw 2616
Phone.: 089/289-16029
Email: r.purschke@tum.de
Institute of Astronautics
Spacecraft Technology I - WS1011
Rocket Staging
Exercise 2
2.2 Multiple Stage LEO Rocket
Calculate the gain in total v of using the three-staged rocket (parameters below) to a simple single stage to orbit
(SSTO) rocket (using a standard structural factor and the maximal v

## of the three-stager). The payload mass that

has to be put into orbit is 800 kg.
m
s,1
= 5 t
m
p,1
= 40 t
m
s,2
= 1 t
m
p,2
= 10 t
m
s,3
= 0.2 t
m
p,3
= 1 t
v
,1
= 2300 m/s
v
,2
= 2500 m/s
v
,3
= 2900 m/s
To compute the total v of the rocket we have to nd the individual
i
and
i
for each stage (1,2,3). To do this
we are writing down the correct masses following the denitions in the lecture. The total launch mass m
0,1
was
calculated by adding up all partial masses.
1
st
stage:
m
0,1
= 58 t
m
f,1
= m
0,1
m
p,1
= 18 t
m
L,1
= m
0,1
m
p,1
m
s,1
= 13 t
def
= m
0,2
2
nd
stage:
m
0,2
= 13 t
m
f,2
= m
0,2
m
p,2
= 3 t
m
L,2
= m
0,2
m
p,2
m
s,2
= 2 t
def
= m
0,3
3
rd
stage:
m
0,3
= 2 t
m
f,3
= m
0,3
m
p,3
= 1 t
m
L,3
= m
0,3
m
p,3
m
s,3
= 0.8 t
With these masses we can compute the structural factor and the payload factor of each stage
1
st
stage:

1
=
m
s,1
m
0,1
m
L,1
= 0.11
Technische Universitat M unchen
Institute of Astronautics
Boltzmannstr. 15
D-85748 Garching
www.lrt.mw.tum.de
2 Tutor:
Dipl.-Ing. R. Purschke
Room: Mw 2616
Phone.: 089/289-16029
Email: r.purschke@tum.de
Institute of Astronautics
Spacecraft Technology I - WS1011
Rocket Staging
Exercise 2

1
=
m
L,1
m
0,1
m
L,1
= 0.288
2
nd
stage:

2
=
m
s,2
m
0,2
m
L,2
= 0.09

2
=
m
L,2
m
0,2
m
L,2
= 0.181
3
rd
stage:

3
=
m
s,3
m
0,3
m
L,3
= 0.16

3
=
m
L,3
m
0,3
m
L,3
= 0.666
To verify these results we compare the total payload factor

## using two dierent equations. The rst equation

gives a total payload factor of

=
m
L,3
m
0,1
=
0.8 t
58 t
= 0.0137
The second way to compute this value is to use the values of the three dierent stages

=
3

i=1

i
1 +
i
=
0.288
1 + 0.288

0.181
1 + 0.181

0.666
1 + 0.666
= 0.0137
Now we can use the propulsion capability equation for multiple staged rockets that is given in the formulary. This
equation sums up all three vs.
v
3Stager
=
3

i=1
v
,i
ln
_
1 +
i

i
+
i
_
v
3Stager
= v
,1
ln
_
1 +
1

1
+
1
_
+ v
,2
ln
_
1 +
2

2
+
2
_
+ v
,3
ln
_
1 +
3

3
+
3
_
v
3Stager
= 2701 m/s + 3679 m/s + 2013 m/s = 8393 m/s
No as we know the v maximum for the three stage rocket we have to compute the SSTO value. For this case we
assume a standard structural factor of 10% and the maximal v

## of the three-stager. We have to use the same lifto

mass of 58 t and the same payload mass of 800 kg. This leads to the same total payload factor
=

=
m
L,3
m
0,1
=
0.8 t
58 t
= 0.0137
v
SSTO
= v
,max
ln
_
1 +
+
_
= 2900 m/s ln
_
1 + 0.0137
0.1 + 0.0137
_
= 6344 m/s
So we can nd an increase in v of
v
3Stager
v
SSTO
= 8393 m/s 6344 m/s = 2595 m/s
Technische Universitat M unchen
Institute of Astronautics
Boltzmannstr. 15
D-85748 Garching
www.lrt.mw.tum.de
3 Tutor:
Dipl.-Ing. R. Purschke
Room: Mw 2616
Phone.: 089/289-16029
Email: r.purschke@tum.de
Institute of Astronautics
Spacecraft Technology I - WS1011
Rocket Staging
Exercise 2
2.3 Optimal Stage Number
The following data is known for a launch vehicle (Scout):
Thrust:
1.Stage: 464.7 kN
2.Stage: 276.5 kN
3.Stage: 97.4 kN
4.Stage: 25.8 kN
Lauch mass:
17, 500 kg
Acceleration at launch:
2.71g
0
Specic Impulse:
ground: 240 s
vacuum: 264 s
115 kg
Velocity demand(v):
9.0 km/s
Under the assumption of an identical structural factor for all stages, calculate the structural factor for the rocket.
Is the choice of 4 stages optimal for this structural factor?
We are looking at a tandem staged rocket with 4 stages. Each stage has a dierent thrust but the same structural
factor . In the rst step we consider the total payload factor

compute

## with the given formula:

=
m
L,n
m
0,1
=
115 kg
17, 500 kg
= 0.0066
Here n is the number of stages and n = 4. From the formulary we can use the second denition of

which is as
follows

=
n

i=1

i
1 +
i
This product can be transformed in an easier form only if all payload factors
i
are equal (as stated in the text
above). Then you can simplify as follows

=
n

i=1

i
1 +
i
=
_

1 +
_
n
Technische Universitat M unchen
Institute of Astronautics
Boltzmannstr. 15
D-85748 Garching
www.lrt.mw.tum.de
4 Tutor:
Dipl.-Ing. R. Purschke
Room: Mw 2616
Phone.: 089/289-16029
Email: r.purschke@tum.de
Institute of Astronautics
Spacecraft Technology I - WS1011
Rocket Staging
Exercise 2
From now on we only write to save some writing. We can now compute
=

1/n

1
1/n

= 0.398
To compute the structural factor we use the Ziolkovsky equations for staged rockets which is
v =
n

i=1
v
,i
ln
_
1 +
i

i
+
i
_
Here again we can use the fact that all structural and payload factors are equal throughout the 4 stages. This leads
to
v =
n

i=1
v
,i
ln
_
1 +
i

i
+
i
_
= n v

ln
_
1 +
+
_
This can be transformed to yield
= (1 + ) e
(
v
nv

## The only variable missing is the v

which we only know on the ground (240 s) and in vacuum (264 s). We assume
that the rocket ies 1/3 of the time in the atmosphere and 2/3 of the time in vacuum. This leads to a average value
of v

v
,avg
=
_
1
3
v
,ground
+
2
3
v
,vacuum
_
= 2511.36
This leads to an structural factor of
= 0.173
Now we want to check if the choice of 4 stages is an optimal choice for this rocket and the given v. The rst
possibility is the rule of thumb equation stated in the lecture
n 1.09
v
v

3.91
So we are probably in the right magnitude when we are using 4 stages. This easy to use formula is derived from
this equation
n
opt

v
v

_
1 +
e 1
2
_
4.11
We used our calculated = 0.173 and we see again that 4 stages is the closest value to the computed optimum. The
last way to calculate the optimum would be to compute the optimal total payload factor rst using the equation
(derived in the lecture)

opt
=
1
e 1
_
1
e
2
_
= 0.445
This values can be inserted in the Ziolkovsky equation which has be transformed to yield the optimal values of
stages
n
opt
=
v
v

ln
_
1+
opt
+
opt
_ = 4.22
Four stages should be the optimum for this rocket.
Technische Universitat M unchen
Institute of Astronautics
Boltzmannstr. 15
D-85748 Garching
www.lrt.mw.tum.de
5 Tutor:
Dipl.-Ing. R. Purschke
Room: Mw 2616
Phone.: 089/289-16029
Email: r.purschke@tum.de
Institute of Astronautics
Spacecraft Technology I - WS1011
Rocket Staging
Exercise 2
2.4 Sounding Rocket
For a two-stage sounding rocket there are two strategies for ascent available:
a) After burn-out of the rst stage the rocket proceed until the velocity is zero before the second stage is ignited.
b) Immediately after burn-out of the rst stage the second stage is ignited.
Which strategy gives the highest altitude for the two-stage sounding rocket?
We are comparing the two dierent ascent strategies a) and b):
Which strategy brings our payload into the higher orbit? First we dene the three masses of our rocket:
total mass of the rocket m
1
mass without the 1
st
stage m
2
mass without 1
st
and 2
nd
stage m
L
Then we dene three heights as follows:
Final height of the rocket H
Height through 1
st
stage h
1
Height through 2
nd
stage h
2
Technische Universitat M unchen
Institute of Astronautics
Boltzmannstr. 15
D-85748 Garching
www.lrt.mw.tum.de
6 Tutor:
Dipl.-Ing. R. Purschke
Room: Mw 2616
Phone.: 089/289-16029
Email: r.purschke@tum.de
Institute of Astronautics
Spacecraft Technology I - WS1011
Rocket Staging
Exercise 2
We apply the principle of energy conservation to the complete system. We assume that the burn phase is comparable
short to the ight time and can be neglected. So directly after the rocket launch the rocket has burned the fuel of
the rst stage it has no potential energy but the velocity v
1
and the kinetic energy of
E
kin
=
1
2
m
1
v
2
1
We wait until the velocity of the rocket becomes the zero at the height h
1
. Now the rocket has no kinetic energy
but the potential energy:
E
pot
= m
1
g h
1
Due to the energy conservation we can write:
m
1
g h
1
=
1
2
m
1
v
2
1
The same equations can be stated for the second stage
m
L
g h
2
=
1
2
m
L
v
2
2
In case a) the total height H can be calculated through adding the height h
1
to h
2
. Simply spoken we are conse-
cutively launching two single-stage rockets. The rst rocket starts on the ground and puts the second stage and
the payload in to a given height h
1
. When the second stages velocity reaches zero we start the second single-stage
rocket (= 2
nd
stage) which puts the payload in the nal height H. The leads to
H = h
1
+ h
2
=
1
2g
(v
2
1
+ v
2
2
)
For the scenario b) we again assume that the burn time of both stages is very small compared to the complete
ight and that both stages are burned without a pause between the burn phases. So after the initial burning of
both stages the rocket has the kinetic energy:
E
kin
=
1
2
m
L
(v
1
+ v
2
)
2
The rocket reaches its maximal height at H and has the nal potential energy
E
pot
= m
L
g H
If you combine the two equations you get
H =
1
2g
(v
1
+ v
2
)
2
=
1
2g
(v
2
1
+ v
2
2
+ 2 v
1
v
2
. .
)
So the second scenario reaches a greater height due to the last term. So the conclusion is that cruising phases
during the ascent have to be avoided.
Technische Universitat M unchen
Institute of Astronautics
Boltzmannstr. 15
D-85748 Garching
www.lrt.mw.tum.de
7 Tutor:
Dipl.-Ing. R. Purschke
Room: Mw 2616
Phone.: 089/289-16029
Email: r.purschke@tum.de