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Flight Analysis of an Autonomously Navigated Experimental LanderFirst 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 108,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) to determine its high-altitude survivability and capabilities. Following release, ANGEL descended under a drogue until approximately 25,000 feet, 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 10,000 pounds 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 systems performance, gondola load data, and serve as a reference point for subsequent missions.
Document ID
Document Type
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
August 12, 2016
Publication Date
January 4, 2016
Subject Category
Aircraft Communications and Navigation
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2016-0744
Meeting Information
AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace (SciTech 2016)(San Diego, CA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 736466.02.05.03
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 20160010274.pdf STI