Development of SAMURAI - Simulation and Animation Model Used for Rockets with Adjustable Isp.
Olds, John R.
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An interplanetary trajectory calculation application SAMURAI - Simulation and Animation Model Used for Rockets with Adjustable Isp - has been developed. SAMURAI is written in C++ and calculates transfer trajectories with variable thrust, variable Isp (VASIMR type) engines as well as conventional constant low thrust, constant Isp engines and high thrust engines. SAMURAI utilizes a calculus of variations algorithm to evaluate the thrust history that minimizes the fuel consumption from one planet to another. A trajectory with a planetary swing-by can also be calculated. After calculation, a 3D animation of the resulting transfer trajectory is created and can be viewed with a web browser using VRML. In this paper, equations and methods used in SAMURAI, and the capabilities of this application are presented. A few examples including a round trip from Earth to Mars have been analyzed, and trajectories with variable Isp engines, constant Isp, engines, and high thrust engines are compared.