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Attached Inflatable Forebody Decelerator for Spacecraft Aerocapture

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNM04AA87C
Agency Tracking Number: 033482
Amount: $69,978.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2003
Award Year: 2004
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2004-01-16
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2004-07-19
Small Business Information
20590 Cereal Street
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530-9600
United States
DUNS: 184758894
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Glen Brown
 Principal Investigator
 (831) 425-5147
Business Contact
 Peter Iverson
Title: Business Official
Phone: (909) 674-0604
Research Institution

There are two distinct approaches to aerocapture: drag modulation and lift-vector control. All current research under the NASA ROSS In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is based on the drag modulation approach. However, a growing number of researchers are convinced that lift-vector control will be necessary, particularly for the more challenging planetary destinations such as Neptune. Vertigo will research concepts for spacecraft aerocapture using an innovative attached inflatable forebody decelerator that employs lift-vector control. Compared to drag modulation, lift-vector control expands the entry corridor to provide the needed margin for the total of the statistical uncertainties associated with navigation and atmospheric property estimation. Because aerocapture uses aerodynamic forces and not propulsion to decelerate, the amount of fuel required for a mission is greatly reduced. During Phase I Vertigo will define a concept for an attached inflatable forebody decelerator that incorporates lift-vector trajectory control. The results of the Phase I research will form the basis for a Phase II program in which we will perform a detailed evaluation of all aspects of the conceptual aerocapture system to converge on a single design concept for multiple aerocapture missions, and completely analyze the characteristics of spacecraft utilizing the selected aerocapture concepts.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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