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  • A general optimization for maximum terminal velocity

    Paper ID



    • G. Vulpetti








    The maximum final velocity problem is extended to a relativistic rocket vehicle assumed composed of an active mass, inert mass and payload. A fraction of the active mass is converted into energy transferred to the inert mass which is ejected. Two significant effects are added. A certain fraction of the mass not-converted may be jettisoned. A fraction of the propulsive energy may be re-converted into suitable non-zero rest- mass particles with a kinetic energy re - sidual to make a controllable exhausting beam. The system of optimal equations is carried out to find the time profiles of the exhaust speed. The major result is the exis tence of a critical value of the propel - lant. Beyond it both true and effective jet speeds increase with time. Below it the former profile is reversed while the effective jet speed increases. When the inert mass equals its critical value for a given thruster, the best control consists of both jet speeds constant. No similar behaviour is found in classical propulsion since any conventional rocket-vehicle has its own critical value low enough. Also, a numerical analysis is made in order to find the best share of active and inert mass when their sum were fixed.