GMAT for optimizing ballistic missiles trajectories?

Dynamics and environment models, spacecraft model, solver algorithms, etc.

GMAT for optimizing ballistic missiles trajectories?

Postby simplex » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:37 am

GMAT for optimizing ballistic missiles trajectories
Is it possible ?

Let's say I have the following ballistic missile:

Stage 1
Propellant mass = 610 kg
Empty mass = 400 kg
Total mass = 1010 kg
Burn time min = 3.1 seconds
Thrust max = 350 kN

Stage 2
Propellant mass = 715 kg
Empty mass + Payload = 675 kg
Total mass = 1390 kg
Burn time min = 44.6 sec
Thrust max = 35 kN

Total mass 2400 kg

Drag coefficient as a function of Mach number Cd(M) is known for Stage 1+ Stage 2 and also for Stage 2 alone.

Supposing the rocket is launched from parallel 45 eastward, toward a point situated also on parallel 45, find Thrust(t) in such a way that the missile hits the ground as far as possible from where it starts. Can GMAT solve such a problem?
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:12 am

Re: GMAT for optimizing ballistic missiles trajectories?

Postby jjkparker » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:57 pm

Hi, thanks for the question.

GMAT currently does not do launch vehicle trajectory optimization, though you may be able to fake it using spacecraft that start at the surface. You may need to use multiple spacecraft, like one per stage.

I don't know of any example of this (or anyone that's done it), so it might not be possible. It's definitely not an intended use of GMAT.

If you have any luck, I'm sure we'd be interested!

Joel J. K. Parker
Flight dynamics engineer, GMAT team
Posts: 617
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

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