IKARUS - Aerospace Glider

T. Rokita, R. Rojas, Y. Yavor, D. Michaels, S. Levi, I. Tubis, T. Zimmerman, V. Shalumov, E. Goldberg, E. Djurinski
Dr. Uri Peled
project image

IKARUS – is a reusable manned aerospace vehicle for civilian and tourism use. It is designed to reach space limit altitude, and cover a significant ground distance within less than an hour. The unique flight course of IKARUS (hopping  see Operational Concept) can provide the feeling of weightlessness as well as the thrill of traveling at hypersonic and supersonic speeds while viewing the remarkable sight of Earth and Space.

Designing IKARUS the team was faced with state-of-the-art technological challenges such as:

  • Computational trajectory prediction and control for store separation.
  • Hypersonic and high angles of attack aerodynamics.
  • Analytical and numerical models for heat flux prediction during re-entry.
  • Numerical design of an optimum-minimum-length supersonic nozzle.
  • Flight trajectory optimization and control.

Operational Concept

IKARUS will be launched from a designated jet-powered carrier aircraft (conceptually designed within this project). At an altitude of 14 km, IKARUS separates from its carrier and reaches the Space limit of 100 km, using a solid-propellant rocket engine. After burnout IKARUS obtains its maixmum velocity (about M=7). In order to re-enter the atmosphere safely an optimized, unique and low-dynamic pressure flight trajectory was designed. Production of aerodynamic forces at high altitudes, leads to a unique gliding course of hopping on the atmosphere while descending and decelerating as well as covering a significant ground distance of approximately 1200 km.

The flight course will provide passengers with a spectacular view of Earth and Space, the thrill of weightlessness and traveling at high speeds. After re-entry IKARUS glides towards a conventional landing at its destination. Total mission time, from departure to landing, is less than an hour.

IKARUS – Aerospace Glider

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