## Aerospace Engineering on the Back of an Envelope (Google eBook)Engineers need to acquire “Back-of-the-Envelope” survival skills to obtain rough quantitative answers to real-world problems, particularly when working on projects with enormous complexity and very limited resources. In the case studies treated in this book, we show step-by-step examples of the physical arguments and the resulting calculations obtained using the quick-fire method. We also demonstrate the estimation improvements that can be obtained through the use of more detailed physics-based Back-of-the-Envelope engineering models. These different methods are used to obtain the solutions to a number of design and performance estimation problems arising from two of the most complex real-world engineering projects: the Space Shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope satellite. |

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### Contents

1 Introduction | 1 |

2 Design of a high school sciencefair electromechanical robot | 41 |

3 Estimating Shuttle launch orbit and payload magnitudes | 76 |

4 Columbia Shuttle accident analysis with BackoftheEnvelope methods | 169 |

### Common terms and phrases

aerodynamic altitude analysis angle of attack angular approximately Back-of-the-Envelope BotE estimate burnout velocity CAIB calculated cargo mass curve deﬁned deﬁnition diameter distance drag force drag loss energy engineering Equation equilibrium glide external tank ﬁeld Figure ﬁnal ﬁrst stage ﬂight ﬂight path ﬂight-path angle foam impact focal length focal plane focal ratio function given glide model gravity loss heat ﬂux heat transfer Hubble Space Telescope impact load impact speed impact velocity initial entry input km/s launch magnitude mass ﬂow rate maximum mission NASA NASA’s optical orbital altitude Orbiter’s parameters plunger plunger velocity predicted primary mirror problem propellant mass Quick-Fire radius ratio reentry reﬂection rocket rule of thumb scale second stage secondary mirror Section Shuttle’s signiﬁcant simple solenoid solution Space Shuttle speciﬁc impulse SSME stage burnout stagnation point structural mass takeoff temperature thrust trajectory vehicle wing