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Low Density Supersonic Decelerator Flight Dynamics Test-1 Flight Design and TargetingNASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) program was established to identify, develop, and eventually qualify to Test [i.e. Technology] Readiness Level (TRL) - 6 aerodynamic decelerators for eventual use on Mars. Through comprehensive Mars application studies, two distinct Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD) designs were chosen that afforded the optimum balance of benefit, cost, and development risk. In addition, a Supersonic Disk Sail (SSDS) parachute design was chosen that satisfied the same criteria. The final phase of the multi-tiered qualification process involves Earth Supersonic Flight Dynamics Tests (SFDTs) within environmental conditions similar to those that would be experienced during a Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) mission. The first of these flight tests (i.e. SFDT-1) was completed on June 28, 2014 with two more tests scheduled for the summer of 2015 and 2016, respectively. The basic flight design for all the SFDT flights is for the SFDT test vehicle to be ferried to a float altitude of 120 kilo-feet by a 34 thousand cubic feet (Mcf) heavy lift helium balloon. Once float altitude is reached, the test vehicle is released from the balloon, spun-up for stability, and accelerated to supersonic speeds using a Star48 solid rocket motor. After burnout of the Star48 motor the vehicle decelerates to pre-flight selected test conditions for the deployment of the SIAD system. After further deceleration with the SIAD deployed, the SSDS parachute is then deployed stressing the performance of the parachute in the wake of the SIAD augmented blunt body. The test vehicle/SIAD/parachute system then descends to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean for eventual recovery. This paper will discuss the development of both the test vehicle and the trajectory sequence including design trade-offs resulting from the interaction of both engineering efforts. In addition, the SFDT-1 nominal trajectory design and associated sensitivities will be discussed as well as an overview of the on-board flight software used to trigger and sequence the main flight events necessary to deploy the deceleration technologies. Finally, as-flown performance of the SFDT-1 system will be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
External Source(s)
Ivanov, Mark (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 1, 2017
Publication Date
March 30, 2015
Subject Category
Meeting Information
AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar(Daytona Beach, FL)
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