Documentation Center

  • Trial Software
  • Product Updates

NASA HL-20 Lifting Body and Controller with Simulink® 3D Animation™ and Gauges Blockset™

This model shows NASA's HL-20 lifting body modeled in Simulink®, Aerospace Blockset™, Gauges Blockset™ and Simulink® 3D Animation™. This model simulates approach and landing flight phases using an auto-landing controller. The Visualization subsystem uses aircraft-specific ActiveX® controls from Global Majic. The Gauges Blockset™ only comes with a trial license for these controls.

The HL-20 also known as personnel launch system (PLS) is a lifting body re-entry vehicle that was designed to complement the Space Shuttle orbiter. Designed to carry up to ten people and very little cargo [1], the HL-20 lifting body was to be placed in orbit either launched vertically via booster rockets or transported in the payload bay of the Space Shuttle orbiter. HL-20 lifting body was designed to have a powered deorbiting accomplished with an onboard propulsion system while its reentry was to be nose-first, horizontal and unpowered.

The HL-20 lifting body was developed as a low cost solution for getting to and from low Earth orbit. The proposed benefits of the HL-20 were reduced operating costs due to rapid turnaround between landing and launch, improved flight safety, and ability to land conventionally on runways. Potential scenarios for the HL-20 were orbital rescue of stranded astronauts, International Space Station crew exchange if the Space Shuttle orbiter was not available, observation missions, and satellite servicing missions.

Additional information and documentation about the HL-20

[1] Jackson E. B., Cruz C. L., "Preliminary Subsonic Aerodynamic Model for Simulation Studies of the HL-20 Lifting Body," NASA TM4302 (August 1992)

Was this topic helpful?