Petal Brake Hypersonic Entry System
Small Business Information
3415 South 116th Street, Suite 123, Tukwila, WA, 98168-1978
AbstractFuture NASA exploration plans will realize significant performance advantages with aerocapture and aerobraking of large, heavy payloads for Mars, Titan, and the gas giant planets. During a previous NASA LaRC funded High Mass Mars Entry System study, Andrews Space found that while inflatable aerobrake designs potentially offer the lowest-mass solution, they are challenged from the uncertainties of dynamic response of large soft structures at the sizes required, and from the risks associated with cleanly separating the lander/payload from the decelerator. A "Petal Brake" concept was introduced as an integrated hypersonic entry system design that addresses these issues. The design performs hypersonic aerocapture and entry maneuvers as a biconic aeroshell, then deploys to provide higher drag just prior to terminal descent and landing. It covers a wide range of EDL environments, is structurally determinate, with minimal aero-elastic issues, and with positive separation characteristics during jettison. During Phase I of this project, Andrews proposes to further advance the operational Petal Brake concept by designing and evaluating a point-of-departure petal-brake design for Mars entry, defining a potential test program, then generating a detailed subscale petal-brake design suitable for manufacture, wind tunnel testing, and high altitude deployment testing in Phase II.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.