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Pterodactyl: Control System Design for Deployable Entry VehiclesAs space exploration missions continue to get more complex, greater demands for mass and volume are being placed on planetary entry vehicles. At the same time, the desire for precision entry targeting to enable surface missions at very specific locations is becoming common. Deployable aeroshells are one type of technology that is being developed to increase the down-mass capability of planetary entry vehicles while complying with current launch vehicle volume constraints. Propulsive control can be used for precision entry targeting but can require a large percentage of the vehicle's total mass or volume for propellant. The Pterodactyl project is studying alternative entry control systems on a Deployable Entry Vehicle to potentially introduce a mass and volume efficient entry system that can achieve precision targeting. This paper presents the mechanical design work undertaken to support the Pterodactyl trade study of three entry vehicle control system options: 1) Flaps, 2) Mass Movement, and 3) Reaction Control System.

Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
D'Souza, Sarah
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Cassell, Alan
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Yount, Bryan
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
January 13, 2020
Publication Date
January 6, 2020
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA SciTech 2020
Location: Orlando, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: January 6, 2020
End Date: January 10, 2020
Sponsors: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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