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Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) Technology Development OverviewThe successful flight of the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE)-3 has further demonstrated the potential value of Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) technology. This technology development effort is funded by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Game Changing Development Program (GCDP). This paper provides an overview of a multi-year HIAD technology development effort, detailing the projects completed to date and the additional testing planned for the future. The effort was divided into three areas: Flexible Systems Development (FSD), Mission Advanced Entry Concepts (AEC), and Flight Validation. FSD consists of a Flexible Thermal Protection Systems (FTPS) element, which is investigating high temperature materials, coatings, and additives for use in the bladder, insulator, and heat shield layers; and an Inflatable Structures (IS) element which includes manufacture and testing (laboratory and wind tunnel) of inflatable structures and their associated structural elements. AEC consists of the Mission Applications element developing concepts (including payload interfaces) for missions at multiple destinations for the purpose of demonstrating the benefits and need for the HIAD technology as well as the Next Generation Subsystems element. Ground test development has been pursued in parallel with the Flight Validation IRVE-3 flight test. A larger scale (6m diameter) HIAD inflatable structure was constructed and aerodynamically tested in the National Full-scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC) 40ft by 80ft test section along with a duplicate of the IRVE-3 3m article. Both the 6m and 3m articles were tested with instrumented aerodynamic covers which incorporated an array of pressure taps to capture surface pressure distribution to validate Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model predictions of surface pressure distribution. The 3m article also had a duplicate IRVE-3 Thermal Protection System (TPS) to test in addition to testing with the Aerocover configuration. Both the Aerocovers and the TPS were populated with high contrast targets so that photogrammetric solutions of the loaded surface could be created. These solutions both refined the aerodynamic shape for CFD modeling and provided a deformed shape to validate structural Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models. Extensive aerothermal testing has been performed on the TPS candidates. This testing has been conducted in several facilities across the country. The majority of the testing has been conducted in the Boeing Large Core Arc Tunnel (LCAT). HIAD is continuing to mature testing methodology in this facility and is developing new test sample fixtures and control methodologies to improve understanding and quality of the environments to which the samples are subjected. Additional testing has been and continues to be performed in the NASA LaRC 8ft High Temperature Tunnel, where samples up to 2ft by 2ft are being tested over representative underlying structures incorporating construction features such as sewn seams and through-thickness quilting. With the successful completion to the IRVE-3 flight demonstration, mission planning efforts are ramping up on the development of the HIAD Earth Atmospheric Reenty Test (HEART) which will demonstrate a relevant scale vehicle in relevant environments via a large-scale aeroshell (approximately 8.5m) entering at orbital velocity (approximately 7km/sec) with an entry mass on the order of 4MT. Also, the Build to Print (BTP) hardware built as a risk mitigation for the IRVE-3 project to have a "spare" ready to go in the event of a launch vehicle delivery failure is now available for an additional sub-orbital flight experiment. Mission planning is underway to define a mission that can utilize this existing hardware and help the HIAD project further mature this technology.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hughes, Stephen J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Cheatwood, F. McNeil
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Calomino, Anthony M.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Wright, Henry S.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
March 25, 2013
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 22nd AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: March 25, 2013
End Date: March 28, 2013
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 677714.04.01.07
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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