After years in production and tests, MEE Inc. has validated that the NASA Towed Glider Air-Launch System (TGALS) is financially feasible. MEE Inc., founders of multidimensional economics and the proprietary, patent-pending MEE4D software, recently completed their project estimation review of the NASA TGALS, providing NASA with the financial models to move forward with production.
The TGALS is a NASA-designed two-stage air-launched reusable launch system currently in development at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center. Capitalizing on the advantages achieved by releasing payloads in midair rather than launching them from the ground, this unique approach uses a towed glider to put satellites into low Earth orbit efficiently, safely, and cost effectively.
The satellites launched by the TGALS will be used for a host of applications, including everything from weather and climate monitoring to communications and even planetary and space research.
NASA successfully lauched their first maiden test flight of the TGALS in 2014, using a one third scale model of the twin fuselage glider. This 27-foot-wingspan towed aircraft was released by the UAV and glided to a perfect landing, confirming that a dual-fuselage glider could be used in this application.
While initial research and development was funded internally at NASA Armstrong, after the October 21, 2014 flight, the project obtained additional funding through the Game Changing Development program.
With the MEE4D software implemented, NASA’s engineers are able to play with financial models dependent on the design changes. MEE has provided NASA with the ability of changing parameters for the actual TGALS in order to execute more cost-effective changes and push the project further forward.
MEE Inc. Founder, Douglas Howarth, will be presenting these findings today to the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA).
Source: MEE Inc.
Date: Sep 20, 2017