The Kentucky re-entry universal payload system: Trajectory analysis and preliminary subsystems

Justin M. Cooper, Joseph K. Stieha, Alex M. Fowler, Nathan A. Wright, Alexandre Martin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Kentucky Re-entry Universal Payload System is a low-cost, micro-satellite space- craft intended to collect real-time data and aid analysis of thermal protection systems during entry, descent, and landing mission phases. It is also uniquely positioned to provide a universal payload system platform for secondary scientific payloads while in Low Earth Orbit. The design of KRUPS and initial stages of development are presented in this paper, beginning with a six degree of freedom trajectory code intended to provide an approximation of flight path as well as upper bounds on the aerothermal boundary conditions the vehicle experiences. In addition, the aerodynamic profile of the vehicle, the data acquisition system, and the housing internal architecture are all outlined with an emphasis on cost and time management, as well as user friendly compatibility.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2016
Event54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2016Jan 8 2016


Conference54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The material presented here is based upon work supported by NASA Kentucky under NASA award No: NNX10AL96H. The primary author would like to thank Haoyue Weng for his generous donation of time and wisdom, as a mentor and a friend. Another special thanks is owed to Raghava Sai Cha Davuluri whose numerical analysis expertise was invaluable and enlightening. Also special thanks to Ali Omidy for continued encouragement and for providing a wealth of ideas, as well as Daniel Murphy and Landon Mimms for their contribution to the project. Many thanks to Yokohama Corporation of America for pledging the use of their technical facilities for helping to qualify the KRUPS and for pledging their expertise in said equipment. Finally, NASA Kentucky for funding our senior design project, having faith in undergraduates to tackle an extremely complex problem, and giving us the opportunity to work on an exciting project that can lead to the generation of new data for the ablation community.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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