Stratospheric Deployment Parafoil
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215-5516
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AbstractThe Stratospheric Deployment Parafoil is a proposed technology that will be designed and tested to provide a greatly superior parachute precision delivery system under thin atmosphere conditions, including Mars entry. Current systems incorporate a parachute which lacks the controllability necessary for precision landing. The non-controllable parachutes act only as a delivery system but afford no way to direct the parachute descent. The new technology will eliminate the uncontrollable system and, rather than using a round parachute variant, will have a high L/D parafoil capable of precision control and landing. This controllable parafoil will have a multistage deployment sequence which will accomplish high speed, even supersonic parachute deployment with the parachute in a reefed condition. The first stage of the deployment will approximate a conical ribbon parachute which will slow the system to subsonic speeds. Once the system has slowed sufficiently, subsequent stages of the deployment will transition the non-controllable parachute to a fully controllable, precision-landing parafoil.
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