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Woven Thermal Protection System Based Heat-shield for Extreme Entry Environments Technology (HEEET)NASA's future robotic missions utilizing an entry system into Venus and the outer planets, namely, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, result in extremely high entry conditions that exceed the capabilities of state of the art low to mid density ablators such as PICA or Avcoat. Therefore mission planners typically assume the use of a fully dense carbon phenolic heat shield similar to what was flown on Pioneer Venus and Galileo. Carbon phenolic is a robust TPS material however its high density and relatively high thermal conductivity constrain mission planners to steep entries, with high heat fluxes and pressures and short entry durations, in order for CP to be feasible from a mass perspective. The high entry conditions pose challenges for certification in existing ground based test facilities and the longer‐term sustainability of CP will continue to pose challenges. In 2012 the Game Changing Development Program (GCDP) in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate funded NASA ARC to investigate the feasibility of a Woven Thermal Protection System (WTPS) to meet the needs of NASA's most challenging entry missions. This project was highly successful demonstrating that a Woven TPS solution compares favorably to CP in performance in simulated reentry environments and provides the opportunity to manufacture graded materials that should result in overall reduced mass solutions and enable a much broader set of missions than does CP. Building off the success of the WTPS project GCDP has funded a follow on project to further mature and scale up the WTPS concept for insertion into future NASA robotic missions. The matured WTPS will address the CP concerns associated with ground based test limitations and sustainability. This presentation will briefly discuss results from the WTPS Project and the plans for WTPS maturation into a heat‐shield for extreme entry environment.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Ellerby, Donald
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Venkatapathy, Ethiraj
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Stackpoole, Margaret
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Chinnapongse, Ronald
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Munk, Michelle
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Dillman, Robert
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Feldman, Jay
(ERC, Inc. Moffett Field, CA)
Prabhu, Dinesh
(ERC, Inc. Moffett Field, CA )
Beerman, Adam
(ERC, Inc. Moffett Field, CA)
Date Acquired
March 5, 2014
Publication Date
June 24, 2013
Subject Category
Aeronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: National Space and Missile Materials Symposium
Location: Bellevue, WA
Start Date: June 24, 2013
End Date: June 27, 2013
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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