Thermal response of an aeroassisted orbital-transfer vehicle with a conical drag brakeAs an aeroassisted orbital-transfer vehicle (AOTV) goes through an aerobraking maneuver, a significant amount of heat is generated. In this paper, the thermal response of a specific AOTV to this aerobrake heating is examined. The vehicle has a 70 deg, conical drag-brake heat shield attached to a cylindrical body which contains the payload. The heat shield is made of silica fabric. The heat-shield thickness is varied from that of a thin cloth to a 1.5-cm blanket. The fabric thickness, the radiation absorptivity of the vehicle surface materials, and radiation from the wake are all significant parameters in the thermal response to the heating produced by the braking maneuver. The maximum temperatures occur in the vicinity of the interface between the body and the conical heat shield.
Pitts, W. C. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Murbach, M. S. (Informatics General Corp. Palo Alto, CA, United States)