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Flight Analysis of an Autonomously Navigated Experimental Lander for High Altitude RecoveryFirst steps have been taken to qualify a family of parafoil systems capable of increasing the survivability and reusability of high-altitude balloon payloads. The research is motivated by the common risk facing balloon payloads where expensive flight hardware can often land in inaccessible areas that make them difficult or impossible to recover. The Autonomously Navigated Experimental Lander (ANGEL) flight test introduced a commercial Guided Parachute Aerial Delivery System (GPADS) to a previously untested environment at 108,000ft MSL to determine its high-altitude survivability and capabilities. Following release, ANGEL descended under a drogue until approximately 25,000ft, at which point the drogue was jettisoned and the main parachute was deployed, commencing navigation. Multiple data acquisition platforms were used to characterize the return-to-point technology performance and help determine its suitability for returning future scientific payloads ranging from 180 to 10,000lbs to safer and more convenient landing locations. This report describes the test vehicle design, and summarizes the captured sensor data. Various post-flight analyses are used to quantify the system's performance, gondola load data, and serve as a reference point for subsequent missions.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Chin, Jeffrey (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Niehaus, Justin (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Goodenow, Debra (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Dunker, Storm (Airborne Systems North America Santa Ana, CA, United States)
Montague, David (Airborne Systems North America Santa Ana, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
April 11, 2016
Publication Date
January 4, 2016
Subject Category
Aircraft Stability and Control
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA SciTech 2016(San Diego, CA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 736466.02.05.03
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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