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  1. #1
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    Open-source space launcher software

    Iím an aerospace engineering student, I was wondering if there is an open-source software able to compute the trajectory of a real space launcher (so heavy rocket like Arianne 5, Falcon, Soyuz...). I already know OpenRocket but unfortunately Iíve seen that it is limited to sounding-rocket.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Answer View Post
    I’m an aerospace engineering student, I was wondering if there is an open-source software able to compute the trajectory of a real space launcher (so heavy rocket like Arianne 5, Falcon, Soyuz...). I already know OpenRocket but unfortunately I’ve seen that it is limited to sounding-rocket.
    How realistic?

    I'm guessing it's not as accurate as you want, nor is it open-source, but Kerbal Space Program is a formerly-indie game (it was bought out by Rockstar Games I think) that does a pretty good job of simulating orbital flight. It can't run scripted ascent paths, but you can fly it by hand with a little practice, and with community mods like Realism Overhaul it can simulate real engines and vehicles to some degree. Orbiter 2016 is another very similar game/sim that's more geared toward real vehicles.

    As to "serious" simulations, I have no idea. I just play Kerbal Space Program... I wouldn't use KSP for anything that you actually cared about accuracy for, but just for fun, it's great.

    NAR #104043, Jr L1 - 3/18/18
    www.crmrc.org

    Director of Impressive Titles, ArdIU Flight Computer Project:
    lithosphererocketry at gmail dot com

  3. #3
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    I doubt you can get the real software used. Likely would be seen as a security issue.
    Mark Koelsch
    Tripoli 6155 L3
    Owner of http://www.rocketryfiles.com/
    Editor of http://www.thrustcurve.org/
    Member of the Tripoli Motor Test Committee, and keeper of the motor file

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LithosphereRocketry View Post
    How realistic?

    I'm guessing it's not as accurate as you want, nor is it open-source, but Kerbal Space Program is a formerly-indie game (it was bought out by Rockstar Games I think) that does a pretty good job of simulating orbital flight. It can't run scripted ascent paths, but you can fly it by hand with a little practice, and with community mods like Realism Overhaul it can simulate real engines and vehicles to some degree. Orbiter 2016 is another very similar game/sim that's more geared toward real vehicles.

    As to "serious" simulations, I have no idea. I just play Kerbal Space Program... I wouldn't use KSP for anything that you actually cared about accuracy for, but just for fun, it's great.

    Thank you, I already know Kerbal, it's very accurate especially after the introduction of the mod Realism Overhaul, but it’s quite different from what I’m looking for.
    I was searching an Open-Source software that allow to compute the trajectory of a real space launcher.

  5. #5
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    Have you seen this?
    Full-size Saturn V simulation in OpenRocket
    http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?t=141423
    Charles McGonegal
    Ciderwright at AeppelTreow Winery & Distillery
    www.appletrue.com
    NAR #103560 L1 6/25/17 Estes Leviathan CTI H175-SS
    Ad Astra Tabernamque!

  6. #6
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    Open-source space launcher software

    Much of the software NASA uses is open source and free to the public. Hereís a link to the software they developed at Goddard for orbital trajectories:
    https://opensource.gsfc.nasa.gov/pro...emtg/index.php
    Steve Shannon
    L3CC, TAP, Director, Tripoli Rocketry Association

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles_McG View Post
    Have you seen this?
    Full-size Saturn V simulation in OpenRocket
    http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?t=141423
    This looks very interesting. I know that OpenRocket makes some approximations that prevent it from being suitable for space launchers but the link is still very interesting, thank you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shannon View Post
    Much of the software NASA uses is open source and free to the public. Here’s a link to the software they developed at Goddard for orbital trajectories:
    https://opensource.gsfc.nasa.gov/pro...emtg/index.php
    Yes, Nasa offers a lot of open-source tools but for what I know there isn’t something for space launcher. For example, EMTG is thought to optimize interplanetary trajectory’s.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Answer View Post
    Yes, Nasa offers a lot of open-source tools but for what I know there isnít something for space launcher. For example, EMTG is thought to optimize interplanetary trajectoryís.
    If youíre looking for something that has all the models for the rockets you listed and which you simply supply an orbital insertion velocity, you would need to know that velocity first. EMTG may help with that. Did you look at the NASA software catalog?
    Steve Shannon
    L3CC, TAP, Director, Tripoli Rocketry Association

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shannon View Post
    If youíre looking for something that has all the models for the rockets you listed and which you simply supply an orbital insertion velocity, you would need to know that velocity first. EMTG may help with that. Did you look at the NASA software catalog?

    I've seen the catalog but what I'm looking for is a tool able to compute a space launcher trajectory, so for example the altitude or velocity in function of time. For the moment I know only private software (one of the most important is Astos ) able to do that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Answer View Post
    I've seen the catalog but what I'm looking for is a tool able to compute a space launcher trajectory, so for example the altitude or velocity in function of time. For the moment I know only private software (one of the most important is Astos ) able to do that.
    You may have to do it yourself using these algorithms: http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FA...Notes/traj.pdf

    Good luck.
    Steve Shannon
    L3CC, TAP, Director, Tripoli Rocketry Association

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shannon View Post
    You may have to do it yourself using these algorithms: http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FA...Notes/traj.pdf

    Good luck.
    I will try, thank you for the help.

  13. #13
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    Drag coefficient going to be a pain and the arse to compute for new objects. Apparently, AIAA Design Methodologies for Space Transportation Systems is highly recommended for its nifty CD-ROM of software tools if your in the market for high Mach, drag coefficients on variable angles of attack using fortran.

  14. #14
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    RASAero II has been used to generate aero data for launch vehicles run on other ascent to orbit flight simulation programs. In fact the last update of RASAero II (Version 1.0.1.0) included changes to improve models specifically for launch vehicles.

    From the RASAero web site for the RASAero II Version 1.0.1.0 update:

    http://www.rasaero.com/dl_software_ii.htm

    "Added extension to power-on base drag model for very large nozzle exit diameters at supersonic and hypersonic Mach numbers, with the nozzle exit area filling a large portion of the rocket base area, for more accurate power-on drag coefficient (CD) predictions for first and second stages of satellite launch vehicles."


    Chuck Rogers
    Rogers Aeroscience

  15. #15
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    Minotaur I launch vehicle entered into RASAero II to get aero data. (CL, CD, CN, CA, CNalpha, CP)

    The Minotaur I geometry data is from the Minotaur I Users Guide January 2006 (Approved for Public Release), Page 4, Figure 2-2.

    Chuck Rogers
    Rogers Aeroscience
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Chuck Rogers; 16th May 2018 at 04:29 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Rogers View Post
    RASAero II has been used to generate aero data for launch vehicles run on other ascent to orbit flight simulation programs. In fact the last update of RASAero II (Version 1.0.1.0) included changes to improve models specifically for launch vehicles.

    From the RASAero web site for the RASAero II Version 1.0.1.0 update:

    http://www.rasaero.com/dl_software_ii.htm

    "Added extension to power-on base drag model for very large nozzle exit diameters at supersonic and hypersonic Mach numbers, with the nozzle exit area filling a large portion of the rocket base area, for more accurate power-on drag coefficient (CD) predictions for first and second stages of satellite launch vehicles."


    Chuck Rogers
    Rogers Aeroscience


    It's a very interesting program, Iím going to try it.
    Itís a shame that it is not open-source but only free, I would like to look at the numerical simulation code.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_ASC View Post
    Drag coefficient going to be a pain and the arse to compute for new objects. Apparently, AIAA Design Methodologies for Space Transportation Systems is highly recommended for its nifty CD-ROM of software tools if your in the market for high Mach, drag coefficients on variable angles of attack using fortran.
    I'll look thank you.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Answer View Post
    It's a very interesting program, Iím going to try it.
    Itís a shame that it is not open-source but only free, I would like to look at the numerical simulation code.
    I plan to publish the aerodynamic prediction methods in RASAero at some TBD time.


    Chuck Rogers


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