RLV Group

On April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle, which is one of typical space transportation systems, was launched to space in U. S.. The Space Shuttles have flown between the earth and space for more than twenty years since their first flight in 1981, and the time will come soon to replace the Shuttle by a new space transportation system in the next generation. As for in Japan, the H-II launch vehicles have been developed and launched as the main space transportation systems to space. The HOPE (H-II Orbiting Plane-Experimental) also has been investigated as a mean of supplying and recovering materials in space. As well as in U. S., the time is coming to give precise and attractive answers accepted by the general public to the proposition that What kind of space transportation system and by when should we own in the future?.

The cost in space transportation systems mainly interferes the present space utilization. Therefore, the objectives of our RLV (Reusable Launch Vehicle) project research group are to investigate new space transportation systems in the next generation which achieve a breakthrough for the reduction in space transportation cost. Practically at present, we are learning basic knowledge of a RLV (flight dynamics, launching, aerodynamic heating, etc.), investigating a baseline assessment of RLVs in each country and each type of flight and engine, and getting new knowledge from the NASA's report Access to Space Studyh in which some space transportation systems in the next generation were investigated.

The results of our study will be presented in our laboratory seminar. This seminar is open to and welcomes anyone who is interested in our study.


Rocket Engine Group

Modern liquid rocketry began in the United States in 1909 with the well-publicized work of Dr. Robert H. Goddard. The German V-2 rocket was the first and most infamous application of liquid propulsion and the first successful ballistic missile. Also in Japan, the history of rocketry began in 1955 with PENCIL rocket launch experiment of Dr. Itokawa group. After that, H-IIA and M-V rockets have been developed and become the main launch vehicles in Japan. Although one century has passed since we can launch modern liquid rockets in space, launch failure which depends on the engine (propulsion) system and so on has still arisen and is the most critical problem in space development of Japan. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the reliability of launch system rapidly and we think that the engine system is one of the most important factors in reliable launch systems.
Our group is studying modern liquid rocketry in order to investigate some problems of the engine system. Finally, we hope to be able to point out a kind of problem of the present design concept and suggest its solutions or remedies. As our present activities, we are studying the basis of modern liquid engine system using the textbook and we also learn preliminary or conceptual design of liquid engine systems actually performed.

In the present, we are studying an example of the process for designing liquid rockets whose thrust level is set to be about 100 (ton) as a simple case study.


Planet Airplane Research Group

Various probes such as landers, rovers and planetary orbiters have surveyed Mars since Viking 1 was launched on August 1975 and arrived at Mars on June 1976. In recent the idea of Mars airplane has been proposed as an advanced planetary exploration. Airplanes enable to survey the surface more clearly than planetary orbiter does and fly more wide range to access the points where we are interested in than lander and rover do.

The planet airplane research group aims to realize the planet survey by airplane. The flying styles we consider are Fixed wing, Rotary wing, Flapping wing and Balloon. Now we are investigating the characteristics and performance of each flying style on Mars.



Editor: Keiichiro Fujimoto
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