Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования
«Самарский национальный исследовательский университет имени академика С.П. Королева»

Determination launch vehicle flight characteristics

Within the framework of this course, the participants will gain fundamental knowledge in the field of rocket technology and jet propulsion theory. The basis of the course is the generally accepted scheme of dividing the rocket flight path into sections and the control program for each of them.

In the process of instruction the course participants are to learn about the rocket flight conditions at all stages of its motion (from launch to the moment of reaching the target orbit), as well as the forces and moments acting on the rocket in flight and mathematical models they are described by. Special attention in the course is paid to the choice of rocket design characteristics, ensuring the implementation of the target task.

After theoretical training, the participants will be asked to select the launch vehicle from the available prototypes, to specify its design parameters for solving the problem of rocket injection into the target orbit and to calculate the basic flight characteristics of the launch vehicle, including the control program for individual stages.


Mastering of the theoretical and practical part of the course requires knowledge of physics and mathematics at the secondary school level.

Learning outcome

As a result of mastering the course, the participants will have an idea about rocket and space technology, as well as know the basics of the theory of launch vehicle motion.

Competencies formed

  • Understanding of the goals and objectives of engineering in modern science and industry, of the essence of the engineer’s profession as the duty to serve society and profession, following the code of professional conduct (OPK-1 GEF 3 + 24.05.01) – average level.
  • Ability to solve standard tasks of professional activity on the basis of information and bibliographic culture with the use of information and communication technologies and taking into account the basic requirements of information security (OPK-4 GEF 3 + 24.05.01) – average level.
  • Ability to analyze the state and prospects of development of both rocket and space technology in general and its individual areas, to create mathematical models of the functioning of objects of rocket and space technology (PC-2 GEF 3 + 24.05.01) – high level.
  • Ability to carry out engineering design of rocket and space technology products using solid-state computer modeling in accordance with the unified system of design documentation and on the basis of modern software systems (PC-4 GEF 3 + 24.05.01) – high level.
The acquired knowledge will allow the participants:

  • to solve the problems of modeling the motion of the first stage taking into account the influence of the atmosphere, the rotation of the Earth;
  • to solve the boundary value problem for the control program of the second stage of the launch vehicle;
  • to analyze the results of mathematical modeling and adjust the design parameters of the launch vehicle, taking into account the results of ballistic calculations;
  • to draw up calculation documents on the results of the work.

Information resources

  1. Sikharulidze, U. G. Ballistics and guidance of aircraft [Electronic resource] / U. G. Sikharulidze. – M.: BINOM. Knowledge laboratory, 2013. – 407 p.
  2. Umansky, S. P. Launch vehicles. Launch sites [Text] / S. P. Umansky, edited by Y. N. Koptev. – Moscow: Publishing house Restart+, 2001. – 216 p.
  3. Petukhov, V. G. Calculation of the launch vehicle flight path: Educational and methodical manual on course work [Text] / V. G. Petukhov. – Moscow: MAI Publishing house, 2011. – 61 p.
  4. Mechanical engineering. Encyclopedia. Editorial Board: K. V. Frolov (chairman) et al. – Moscow: Mechanical engineering. Rocket and space technology. V. IV-22 / A. P. Ajyan, E. L. Akim, O. M. Alifanov, et al.; edited by V. p. Legostaev. In 2 books. Book 1. 2012, 925 p.

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  • Программа курса

      Module 1. What is a rocket? The principle of jet propulsion. Stages of development of missiles and rocket technology. Characteristics of launch vehicles. The structure of the launch vehicle.

      Module 2. Fundamentals of jet propulsion theory. Meshchersky’s equation. Thrust force. Reaction acceleration. Tsiolkovsky’s formula. Assessment of rocket performance. The concept of characteristic velocity.

      Module 3. Models of the Earth’s atmosphere and gravitational field. Mathematical model of the Earth’s atmosphere. Model of the Earth’s gravitational field.

      Module 4. Forces acting on the launch vehicle. The main sections of the flight path. Forces acting on a launch vehicle in flight.

      Module 5. Vector equations of launch vehicle motion. Coordinate systems. Vector equations of motion of the center of mass and relative to the center of mass. Coordinate systems. Mutual orientation of coordinate systems.

      Module 6. Equations of launch vehicle motion on the axis of the flight path axis system. Conversion of general equations of motion on the axis of the flight path axis system. Equations of launch vehicle motion on the axis of the flight path axis system for a particular case.

      Module 7. Ascent trajectories of launch vehicle stages. Motion of the first stage of the launch vehicle. Control program for the motion of the first stage of the launch vehicle. Motion of the second stage of the launch vehicle. Selection of the pitch program.

      Module 8. Preparation of initial data for calculation of flight characteristics. Two-stage launch vehicles and spaceports. Choice of launch vehicle. Calculation of the required vehicle orbit injection velocity..

      Module 9. Calculation of flight characteristics. Calculation of the launch vehicle flight path. Choice of nominal control laws. Determination of excess / shortage of second stage fuel.

      Module 10. Final testing.

Преподаватели курса

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Баяндина Тамара Александровна

Кандидат технических наук, Доцент
Должность: Доцент Самарского университета

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Ишков Сергей Алексеевич

Доктор технических наук, Профессор
Должность: директор института ракетно-космической техники Самарского университета

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Фадеенков Павел Васильевич

Кандидат технических наук, Доцент
Должность: Доцент Самарского университета

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Храмов Андрей Александрович

Кандидат технических наук
Должность: Доцент кафедры космического машиностроения Самарского университета

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