Author Topic: Steam Autopilots  (Read 444 times)


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Steam Autopilots
« on: March 09, 2018, 07:47:32 AM »
We made an extensive list of autopilots to assist in common mission maneuvers. Some autopilots are specific to the Apollo missions, some are generic.

When a green dot shows next to the AUTOPILOT tab, an autopilot is currently running.
Some autopilots run in a safe mode. You need to press the padlock icon to unlock.
Some autopilots start in paused mode. You need to first select the required parameters and then press the start button to begin running the autopilot.

AGC TEST (Program 7) Performs a basic display test on the Apollo Guidance Computer

LAUNCH TO ORBIT (Program 11) Launches the Saturn V stack to Earth parking orbit. 'Altitutde' is the orbital altitude in kilometers and 'Bearing' is in degrees from true north. The spacecraft must be launched from a port, ie, the Kennedy Space Center launchpad.

LAUNCHMOONORBIT (Program 12) Launches the Lunar Module to lunar orbit with the correct inclination.

TLI LUNARINJ (Program 15) Fires the S-IVB engine into translunar injection orbit. This requires the spacecraft to be within 1 degree of the orbital plane with respect to the Moon. It will propel the Apollo stack to an orbit with an apogee nearing the distance at which the lunar sphere of influence will trap the spacecraft. Upon nearing the Moon, further mid-course corrections may be needed to finetune the lunar orbit insertion. In reality, this TLI was performed by the Instrument Unit on the S-IVB stage and the AGC program 15 (this one) was a backup.

LOI LUNARORBIT (Program 16) Computes and performs the engine burn required to get trapped in lunar orbit. It assumes the spacecraft is following a hyperbolic orbit (an open orbit where eccentricity is greater than 1).

LUNAR DOI (Program 17) Descent Orbit Initialization procedure.

PROGRADE (Program 20) Progrades the spacecraft, orienting the engine with the direction of travel. This is useful for increasing orbital velocity.

RETROGRADE (Program 21) Retrogrades the spacecraft, orienting the engine against the direction of travel. This is useful for reducing orbital velocity.

NORMAL PLUS (Program 22) Sets the spacecraft pointing to the perpendicular of the orbital plane. Useful for changing orbital inclination.

KILLROT (Program 24) Cancels the spacecraft rotation.

HOVER (Program 25) Hovers the spacecraft horizontally relative to the ground.

LEVEL FLIGHT (Program 26) Orients the spacecraft parallel to the horizon.

RADIAL PLUS (Program 27) Orients the spacecraft with the engine perpendicular to the orbital path pointing to the center.

RADIAL MINUS (Program 28) Orients the spacecraft with the engine perpendicular to the orbital path pointing away from the center.

DOCK COPLANAR (Program 31) Orients the spacecraft with the correct docking orientation, regardless of its alignment.

DOCK POINT TO (Program 32) Orients the spacecraft towards the docking target.

EARTH DOCKING (Program 33) Transposes, rotates and translates the Command Module to perform a docking with the Lunar Module still attached to the S-IVB.

DOCK PROGRADE (Program 34) Orients the spacecraft along the relative velocity vector with the target spacecraft.

DOCK RETROGRADE (Program 35) Retrogrades, pointing the engine against the RELATIVE velocity to the docking target aircraft. Engine thrust will kill the relative velocity.

KILL RELVEL (Program 39) Reduces the spacecraft's relative velocity to the docking target to 0.

SPS BURN (Program 40) Performs a SPS engine burn. This requires further data entry the the DSKY  console with parameters obtained from the burn-PAD.

REENTRY (Program 41) Space Shuttle reentry for Kennedy Space Center.

HOVER (Program 42) Hovers teh spacecraft keeping a constant altitude and vertical velocity.

AUTOLAND (Program 45) Lands the spacecraft/aircraft in the designated airport in the HSI AIRP panel.

PO ALIGNMENT (Program 50) Aligns the inertial platform to the parking orbit reported inclination.

NORMAL MINUS (Program 58) Orients the spacecraft perpendicular to the orbital plane (Normal -). This is useful for changing orbital inclination.

POWERED DESCENT (Program 63) Fires the descent engine and reduces velocity up to the final 2000 feet P64 go-no-go landing gate.

FINAL REENTRY (Program 64) Final reentry for the Command Module.

REENTRY (Program 92) Deorbits the Space Shuttle until a vector state fit for reentry to Kennedy Space Center.

CIRCULARIZE TOP (Program 101) Circularizes the orbit to the altitude of the highest point.

CIRCULARIZE LOWER (Program 102) Circularizes the orbit to the altitude of the lowest point.

ALIGN PLANE (Program 103) Aligns the orbital plane (select target in ORBIT visualizer). The first step to a successful Hohmann Transfer Orbit is to have both orbits share the same orbital plane. To do so you need to perform a normal +/- burn at the points where the two orbit planes intersect. These are commonly referred to as the Ascending Node (AN) and Descending Node (DN).

ENGINE BURN (Program 104) Automated engine burn executing the orbital changes selected in the ORBIT visualizer.


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