ACCESS: Above Top Secret
- Apr 2, 2006
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Early CAV investigations quickly made it apparent that considerable work had previously been accomplished on the space reentry problem. Present CAV concepts continue a long line of previous maneuverablere entry vehicle studies and technology programs stretching back almost 40 years. Work began in the early 1960s on hypersonic maneuvering reentry studies which took several conceptual tracks and ultimately contributed to a number of later space programs ranging from manned space flight to advanced maneuvering reentry concepts for the nation’s ICBM forces.
Under the Air Force Spacecraft Technology and Advanced Reentry Tests (START) Research numerous concepts were developed,
designed, and flown in an attempt to produce a reusable, maneuverable, reentry vehicle capable of being flown from Earth orbit to a precise landing point on earth. The first phase of the START called the Aerothermodynamiclelastic Structural Systems Environmental Tests (ASSET) program, designed and tested lifting bodies built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation which derived aerodynamic lift from their shape alone. During the mid-1960s, six ASSET vehicles, launched on Thor boosters, measured the hypersonic environment and
tested materials and structural design concepts related to the maneuvering reentry problem. In a second part of the START Program, called Precision Recovery Including Maneuvering Entry (PRIME), advanced lifbng body vehicles built by Martin-Marietta were launched on Atlas missiles to further explore the development of manned and unmanned lifting body vehicles.
Other companies, including Rockwell, Boeing, Martin-Marietta, Lockheed, TRW, and General Electric, supported the military in technology programs designed to develop and test space reentry vehicle technologies. In the mid-1960s, Boeing participated in maneuvering control and ablation technology studies, early flight tests, and design of a maneuvering Boost Glide Reentry Vehicle concept.
This work was followed by operational maneuvering reentry vehicle and maneuvering decoy studies which produced an advanced reentry vehicle design culminating in maneuvering reentry vehicle control experiment flight tests in the early 1970s.
Through the 1970s, Boeing continued work on reentry vehicles, designing a Small Evader Vehicle, a Precision Guided Reentry Vehicle, and flight testing an Advanced Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle. In the 1980s, Boeing conducted design studies under their Maneuvering Technology Program, designing a Small High Accuracy Reentry Vehicle, a Defense Suppression Weapon/Vehicle, and conducting a
Technology Demonstration of their Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle. During this time TRW was also developing concepts and designs for Maneuvering Reentry Vehicles (MaRV), Advanced Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle (AMaRV) and the High Performance Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle (HpMaRV) associated with future ICBM targeting studies.
In the early 1980sa, Tactical Aerospace Assessment (TAA) Program was initiated under the auspices of the Air Force Systems Command’s Advanced Weapons Concept Group to focus on ground targets which might be struck by a future Transatmospheric Vehicle (TAV). Rockwell (Downey), General Electric (Valley Forge), Martin-Marietta (Orlando), and Boeing (Seattle), among others, were involved in reentry designs and weaponization work to support a future TAV. Development of an atmospheric reentry capability was integral to striking earth and air breathing targets from a high-Mach TAV platform.
By the late 1980s the Have Not Program, supported by Martin Marietta, was actively working on such a capability.
from The Common Aero Vehicle: Space Delivery System Of The Future
George Richie, ANSER
AIAA Space Technology
Conference & Exposition
28-30 Sept. 1999 Albuquerque, NM
Earlier Programs: Early work with Sandia National Laboratories had resulted in Phillips Lab’s MSP Technology Office showing graphics of a very simple, flap controlled, biconic hypersonic weapon. Meetings with TRW, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Wright Lab’s Munitions Directorate and Phillips Lab’s Ballistic Missile Technology Office showed a large body of research existed on much more sophisticated maneuvering reentry vehicles which could be adapted to the CAV concept. Boeing had the most actual flight test experience with programs such as Boost Glide Reentry Vehicle, Maneuvering Control and Ablation Studies (MARCAS), Advanced Control Experiment (ACE), Advanced Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle (AMaRV), and Technology Demonstration Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle (TDMaRV). All of these programs had direct applicability to CAV, especially AMaRV. AMaRV flew several times in the late 1970s and early 1980s and demonstrated profiles similar to those a CAV would fly. Lockheed-Martin had two programs, MSTART and High Performance Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle (HPMARV) which were directly related to CAV. HPMARV, in particular, had detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel analyses, even though the vehicle never flew. Boeing and Lockheed-Martin were both provided small amounts of funding over the next few years to mature their CAV designs and recommend employment, test and acquisition options.
from A Common Aero Vehicle (CAV) - Model, Description, and Employment Guide
Terry H Phillips, Schafer Corporation