Conference article

Mission-Dependent Sequential Simulation for Modeling and Trajectory Visualization of Reusable Launch Vehicles

Lâle Evrim Briese
Institute of System Dynamics and Control, DLR German Aerospace Center, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Download article

Published in: Proceedings of the 2nd Japanese Modelica Conference, Tokyo, Japan, May 17-18, 2018

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 148:32, p. 230-239

Show more +

Published: 2019-02-21

ISBN: 978-91-7685-266-8

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The multibody modeling and visualization of reusable launch vehicles is a challenging task due to their variable structure regarding component separation and engine cutoffs during ascent and descent. However, the number of states within a MODELICA-based multibody model has to remain constant during a simulation. Therefore, the variable structure of launch vehicle models is often considered by using time- and state-dependent conditional statements and separation components. Such an approach can lead to a higher number of equations in the model and to a higher model complexity, respectively. In this paper, a mission-dependent sequential simulation approach for the modeling and trajectory visualization of launch vehicle systems is introduced. Here, the system is divided into characteristic phases, which are modeled with the DLR LauncherApplications Library capitalizing its modular, reusable and user-friendly structure to maintain compatibility between phases and to decrease the overall model complexity and the number of equations.


launch vehicle modeling, trajectory, visualization, mission-dependent modeling, sequential simulation


P. Acquatella B. Launch Vehicle Multibody Dynamics Modeling Framework for Preliminary Design Studies. In 6th International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques, ICATT, 2016.

P. Acquatella B. and M. J. Reiner. Modelica Stage Separation Dynamics Modeling for End-to-End Launch Vehicle Trajectory Simulations. In Proceedings of the 10th International Modelica Conference, 2014.

T. Bellmann. Interactive Simulations and advanced Visualization with Modelica. In Proceedings of the 7th International Modelica Conference, 2009.

L. E. Briese, A. Klöckner, and M. Reiner. The DLR Environment Library for Multi-Disciplinary Aerospace Applications. In Proceedings of the 12th International Modelica Conference, 2017.

L. E. Briese, K. Schnepper, and P. Acquatella B. Advanced Modeling and Trajectory Optimization Framework for Reusable Launch Vehicles. In Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference (in press), 2018.

DYMOLA. Version 2018. Vélizy-Villacoublay, France, Dassault Systèmes, 2018.

H. Elmqvist, S. E. Mattsson, and M. Otter. Modelica extensions for Multi-Mode DAE Systems. In Proceedings of the 10th International Modelica Conference, 2014.

H.-D. Joos. MOPS - Multi-Objective Parameter Synthesis. Technical Report DLR-IB-SR-OP-2016-128, DLR German Aerospace Center, 2016.

A. Kopp, M. Sippel, S. Stappert, N. Darkow, J. Gerstmann, S. Krause, D. Stefaniak, M. Beerhorst, T. Thiele, A. Gülhan, R. Kronen, K. Schnepper, L. E. Briese, and J. Riccius. Forschung an Systemen und Technologien für wiederverwendbare Raumtransportsysteme im DLR-Projekt AKIRA. In Deutscher Luftund Raumfahrtkongress, 2017.

S. E. Mattsson, M. Otter, and H. Elmqvist. Multi-Mode DAE Systems with Varying Index. In Proceedings of the 11th International Modelica Conference, 2015.

A. Mehlhase. Konzepte für die Modellierung und Simulation strukturvariabler Modelle. PhD thesis, Technical University Berlin, Germany, 2015.

A. Mehlhase, D. G. Esperon, J. Bergmann, and M. Merkle. An example of beneficial use of variable-structure modeling to enhance an existing rocket model. In Proceedings of the 10th International Modelica Conference, 2014.

Modelica Association. Modelica - A Unified Object-Oriented Language for Physical Systems Modeling, Language Specification Version 3.3. Revision 1, 2014.

M. J. Reiner and J. Bals. Nonlinear Inverse Models for the Control of Satellites with Flexible Structures. In Proceedings of the 10th International Modelica Conference, 2014.

K. Schnepper. Trajektorienoptimierung in MOPS - Das Paket trajOpt Version 1.0. Technical report, DLR German Aerospace Center, 2014.

M. Stüber. Simulating a Variable-structure Model of an Electric Vehicle for Battery Life Estimation Using Modelica/Dymola and Python. In Proceedings of the 12th International Modelica Conference, 2017.

D. Zimmer. Equation-Based Modeling of Variable-Structure Systems. PhD thesis, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2010.

Citations in Crossref