ARS Space Systems Group: Building the Private Sector of Commercial Space

For twenty-five years, Aerospace Research Systems (ARS) has developed systems and technologies for sustainable solutions for Earth and space.  

The primary barriers to the development of commercial space exploration have been dependence on government sponsored programs. Competence, scientific rigor and education are central to removing barriers and moving commercial space exploration to independent and sustainable activities.

ARS Space Systems Group is a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists with a distinguished background in flight dynamics, systems engineering, materials, propulsion and power, and operations. It has been recognized for developing revolutionary technologies including a new class of functional structures, modular spaceplane systems, power storage technology, hypersonic wave engines and a founding entity in the new field of neural technology. Nearly 20 years ago, the Group created the Advanced Vehicle Systems Laboratory and today is expanding to dedicated flight operations with ground testing and advanced simulation projects. [The unique, robust airframe model incorporates ARS' proprietary dynamic adaptive structures to fly at the edge of space across oceans or to orbits above the debris fields. The Ramstar Model is being used to simulate spaceplane systems for a broad range of missions. Advanced technology demonstrator: Ramstar Orbital Spaceplane Engineering and Virtual Reality Simulator.

Commercial space exploration

From imaging services to space research, commercial space has been founded on improving access, expanding opportunities and extending exploration. Changes in perspective and the recognition of economic benefits from space are creating not just new opportunities, but new methods and technologies. Moving beyond government sponsored programs and architectures is the most significant advancement in human space. We are at the dawn of a new era in space and ARS has created many of the infrastructures and supporting technologies to establish it as a sustainable space leader. ARS is uniquely positioned to develop and build new space systems. Our associates are imminently qualified to advance the most sophisticated space science and engineering efforts.


ARS modular orbital spaceplane built as virtual laboratory establishes a new class of intelligent systems integration for engineering and analysis

The Ramstar Orbital Spaceplane is the first privately funded orbital launch system envisioned to provide the greatest level of sustainability and reliability with the most cost effective operational systems. The unique modular design allows for human crews and autonomous flight with rapid turn around. Described by Matthew Bentley in Spaceplanes: From Airport to Spaceport, it is one of the first vehicles to utilize the Artificial Neural Membrane or ANM Technology. The new technology designed to support health-monitoring and control of the Ramstar through the entire flight envelope has advanced one of the most complete simulations of a transatmospheric vehicle (TAV). The Ramstar Spaceplane Simulator is in its final stage of development and will be used to evaluate proprietary systems developed by ARS and study a variety of mission scenarios and system architectures for HTHL vehicles.

Ramstar Orbital Spaceplane Engineering and Virtual Reality Simulator offers a unique open architecture environment to evaluate software and hardware. The resident computing environment is Linux based with proprietary optronic and phontonic systems. The new completed simulator is slated to be on-line in January 2019.

Simulation model specifications:

Length: 18.9 m [62 ft.]/29.0 m [88.4 ft.] Wingspan: 6.59 m/12.8 m (Model Mark 8/Model Mark 8.2) Height: 7.0 m/8.2m Total payload: 52,000 kg/88,000kg (manned/unmanned Model Mark 8.2) Propulsion (two-stage/three-stage): Reusable boosters, 2 turbojet engines; Orbital maneuvering rear pods with 4 thrusters each, 4 front thrusters and 2 vectoring thrusters Power: Two APUs, Star Sailor Power solar power unit, Star Sailor Power Energy Storage Module and fuel cell. Robot Arm: Rail deployable Star Sailor Power AutoBot Arm Maximum orbit: 1287 kl./800 mi. Launch: Horizontal-take-off-and-horizontal-landing (HTHL)

The “intelligent” integration of materials and instrumentation coupled with innovative neuromorphic systems offers advantages in vehicle analysis and engineering from the vehicle’s inception through flight testing and its entire operational life. “The exploitation of multifunctional smart structures in the integration of complex systems has proven to be efficient and reliable. The modular, open architecture approach to design creates a vehicle as an evolutionary work. The potential for changing the fundamental paradigm in vehicle engineering creates substantial opportunities for the development of intelligent systems and integrating technologies as a longitudinal process. Future spacecraft will no longer be obsolete by the time they enter service. Modular systems can be maintained, up-graded and re-manufactured to meet new mission requirements, improve payload integration, operations and safety.” From chapter on “Emerging Technologies,” Space Systems and Infrastructures by Dr. P. A. Menges, (2018) and Copyright © 2005 P. A. Menges, The Commercial Astronaut Handbook.

Not just access, but building where we want to go

ARS' goal is not just access to space, but building destinations for further commercial development and the industrial expansion of space. To this end ARS has partnered with leaders in advanced imaging, control systems and finance to commercialize technologies and leverage emerging stars in space business, research and engineering.

Above: The ARS Automated Orbital Platform (ARS-AOP) is integrated with ARS optical docking system and offers modular payload bays, power, computing and communications support.

Autonomous Planetary Drone Network

The ARS ANM micro-aerial vehicle (MAV) network is visualized to create a network for remote sensing, communications and local positioning systems. The modular, redundant architecture provides a fault tolerant system for planetary exploration and surveillance.

ARS Ramstar Program

Follow the developments and new information on the innovative two stage to orbit autonomous orbital spaceplane this fall at ARS. Look for the new video and spaceplane year book coming soon.
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