572. Establishing a Value for Weight Savings in Spacecraft Using Signal Flow Graphs


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G F Bostock, D Hill: 572. Establishing a Value for Weight Savings in Spacecraft Using Signal Flow Graphs. 1966.



Reductions in weight make it possible to increase payload. A measure of the value of reductions in weight is therefore the cost of alternative ways to increase payload. The value of weight savings in vehicles intended to make a series of round trips to the Moon can therefore be estimated by the alternative of launching an additional lunar mission to gain additional round-trip payload.
While not applicable to the design of the first lunar excursion module (LEM), the objective of which is primarily to complete a round trip to the Moon successfully and the cost of which is subject to short term budgetary constraints, it is interesting to speculate on the implications of this rationale as applied to a series of successive generations of spacecraft performing a lunar transport mission.
Because the interactions of the LEM with the CSM are not a simple sequence of successively jettisoned stages, the gain in round-trip payload due to weight savings in LEM results in feedback in the weight growth among the modules. Signal flow graphs are used to describe these complex interrelationships and to calculate the growth factors in the modules.


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