Analytical Assessment of Drag-Modulation Trajectory Control for Planetary Entry

Zachary R. Putnam, Robert D. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Discrete-event drag-modulation trajectory control is assessed for planetary entry using the closed-form Allen-Eggers solution to the equations of motion. A control authority metric for drag-modulation trajectory control systems is derived. Closed-form analytical relationships are developed to assess range divert capability and to identify jettison condition constraints for limiting peak acceleration and peak heat rate. Closed-form relationships are also developed for drag-modulation systems with an arbitrary number of stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-489
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Astronautical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018


  • Drag modulation
  • EDL
  • Entry
  • Mars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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