Please wait, loading...


MILITARY & INTELLIGENCE SUCCESS STORIESFirefly's Alpha Launch Vehicle Case Study

Firefly Aerospace

The Issue

Firefly’s Flight Software (FSW) group had a requirement to analyze, design, develop, and test launch vehicle Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) algorithmic software.

To optimize schedule, performance, cost, and risk, Lone Star Analysis (LSA) actively partnered with the FSW group, standing up a GNC team to execute related tasks.


LSA performed Verification & Validation (V&V) of commercial launch vehicle GNC-related flight software which led to confidence in the robustness of the GNC system design. Primarily through analyses and tests, individual modules evaluated included aerodynamics, propulsion, forces and moments, kinematics, open-loop and powered explicit guidance (PEG), GPS constellation modeling and simulation, IMU characterization, GPS/INS integration (Extended Kalman Filter), Thrust Vector Control (TVC), and the Reaction Control System (RCS).

Once the integrated 6DOF simulation passed V&V, launch vehicle Alpha-specific dispersions were identified for Monte Carlo simulation analysis to determine orbit injection error based on both nominal and anomalous performance.
Firefly Alpha Vehicle Launch


LSA stood up a GNC team with verified & validated software enabling them to conduct Monte Carlo simulations for trajectory analyses, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) characterization, and complete GPS/INS integration. Furthermore, the GNC team was fully prepared to conduct Processor-in-the-Loop (PIL) and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HITL) testing with the FSW group. Firefly Alpha’s maiden flight is currently scheduled for Summer 2021.
Smarter & Faster
The answers to count on – when your answers count.