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Supersonic Testing of 0.8 m Disk Gap Band Parachutes in the Wake of a 70 Deg Sphere Cone Entry VehicleSupersonic wind tunnel testing of Viking-type 0.8 m Disk-Gap-Band (DGB) parachutes was conducted in the NASA Glenn Research Center 10'x10' wind-tunnel. The tests were conducted in support of the Mars Science Laboratory Parachute Decelerator System development and qualification program. The aerodynamic coupling of the entry-vehicle wake to parachute flow-field is under investigation to determine the cause and functional dependence of a supersonic canopy breathing phenomenon referred to as area oscillations, characteristic of DGB's above Mach 1.5 operation. Four percent of full-scale parachutes (0.8 m) were constructed similar to the flight-article in material and construction techniques. The parachutes were attached to a 70-deg sphere-cone entry-vehicle to simulate the Mars flight configuration. The parachutes were tested in the wind-tunnel from Mach 2 to 2.5 in a Reynolds number range of 2x105 to 1x106, representative of a Mars deployment. Three different test configurations were investigated. In the first two configurations, the parachutes were constrained horizontally through the vent region to measure canopy breathing and wake interaction for fixed trim angles of 0 and 10 degrees from the free-stream. In the third configuration the parachute was unconstrained, permitted to trim and cone, similar to free-flight (but capsule motion is constrained), varying its alignment relative to the entry-vehicle wake. Non-intrusive test diagnostics were chosen to quantify parachute performance and provide insight into the flow field structure. An in-line loadcell provided measurement of unsteady and mean drag. Shadowgraph of the upstream parachute flow field was used to capture bow-shock motion and wake coupling. Particle image velocimetry provided first and second order flow field statistics over a planar region of the flow field, just upstream of the parachute. A photogrammetric technique was used to quantify fabric motion using multiple high speed video cameras to record the location in time and space of reflective targets placed on the canopy interior. The experimental findings including an updated drag model and the physical basis of the area oscillation phenomenon will be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Sengupta, Anita (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Wernet, Mark (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Roeder, James (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Kelsch, Richard (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Witkowski, Al (Pioneer Aerospace Corp. South Windsor, CT, United States)
Jones, Thomas (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
July 1, 2015
Publication Date
May 4, 2009
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Meeting Information
AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Conference(Seattle, WA)
Distribution Limits
wind tunnel testing