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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Over a decade of work has been conducted in the development of NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) technology. This effort has included multiple ground test campaigns and flight tests culminating in the HIAD projects second generation (Gen-2) deployable aeroshell system and associated analytical tools. NASAs HIAD project team has developed, fabricated, and tested inflatable structures (IS) integrated with flexible thermal protection system (F-TPS), ranging in diameters from 3-6m, with cone angles of 60 and 70 deg.In 2015, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced that they will use a HIAD (10-12m) as part of their Sensible, Modular, Autonomous Return Technology (SMART) for their upcoming Vulcan rocket. ULA expects SMART reusability, coupled with other advancements for Vulcan, will substantially reduce the cost of access to space. The first booster engine recovery via HIAD is scheduled for 2024. To meet this near-term need, as well as future NASA applications, the HIAD team is investigating taking the technology to the 10-15m diameter scale. In the last year, many significant development and fabrication efforts have been accomplished, culminating in the construction of a large-scale inflatable structure demonstration assembly. This assembly incorporated the first three tori for a 12m Mars Human-Scale Pathfinder HIAD conceptual design that was constructed with the current state of the art material set. Numerous design trades and torus fabrication demonstrations preceded this effort. In 2016, three large-scale tori (0.61m cross-section) and six subscale tori (0.25m cross-section) were manufactured to demonstrate fabrication techniques using the newest candidate material sets. These tori were tested to evaluate durability and load capacity. This work led to the selection of the inflatable structures third generation (Gen-3) structural liner. In late 2016, the three tori required for the large-scale demonstration assembly were fabricated, and then integrated in early 2017. The design includes provisions to add the remaining four tori necessary to complete the assembly of the 12m Human-Scale Pathfinder HIAD in the event future project funding becomes available.This presentation will discuss the HIAD large-scale demonstration assembly design and fabrication per-formed in the last year including the precursor tori development and the partial-stack fabrication. Potential near-term and future 10-15m HIAD applications will also be discussed.
    Keywords: Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN43176 , International Planetary Probe Workshop; 12-16 Jun. 2017; The Hague; Netherlands
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Missions that involve traversing through a planetary atmosphere are unique opportunities that require elements of entry, descent, and landing (EDL). Many aspects of the EDL sequence are qualified using analysis and simulation due to the inability to conduct appropriate ground tests, however validating flight data are often lacking, especially for missions not involving Earth re-entry. NASA has made strategic decisions to collect EDL flight data in order to improve future mission designs. For example, MEDLI1 and EFT-1 gathered hypersonic pressure and in-depth temperature data in the thermal protection system (TPS). However, the ability to collect EDL flight data from the smaller competed missions, such as Discovery and New Frontiers, has been limited in part due to the Principal Investigator-managed cost-caps (PIMCC). The recent NASA decision to consider EDL instrumentation earlier in the mission design cycle led to the inclusion of a requirement in the Discovery 2014 Announcement of Opportunity which requires all missions that involve EDL to include an Engineering Science Investigation (ESI).2 The ESI would involve sensors for aerothermal environment and TPS; atmosphere, aerodynamics, and flight dynamics; atmospheric decelerator; and/or vehicle structure.3 The ESI activity would be funded outside of the PIMCC.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN30838 , International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW-13); 13-17 Jun. 2016; Laurel, MD; United States
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: NASAs Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) technology was selected for a Technology Demonstration Mission under the Space Technology Mission Directorate in 2017. HIAD is an enabling technology that can facilitate atmospheric entry of heavy payloads to planets such as Earth and Mars using a deployable aeroshell. The deployable nature of the HIAD technology allows it to avoid the size constraints imposed on current rigid aeroshell entry systems. This enables use of larger aeroshells resulting in increased entry system performance (e.g. higher pay-load mass and/or volume, higher landing altitude at Mars). The Low Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) is currently scheduled for late-2021. LOFTID will be launched out of Vandenberg Air Force Base as a secondary payload on an Atlas V rocket. The flight test features a 6m diameter, 70-deg sphere-cone aeroshell and will provide invaluable high-energy orbital re-entry flight data. This data will be essential in supporting the HIAD team to mature the technology to diameters of 10m and greater. Aeroshells of this scale are applicable to potential near-term commercial applications and future NASA missions. Currently the LOFTID project has completed fabrication of the engineering design unit (EDU) inflatable structure (IS) and the flexible thermal protection system (F-TPS). These two components along with the rigid nose and center body comprise the HIAD aeroshell system. This EDU aeroshell is the precursor to the LOFTID aeroshell that will be used for flight. The EDU was built to verify the design given the subtle differences between the LOFTID aeroshell and past aeroshell designs that have been fabricated under the NASA HIAD project. To characterize the structural performance of the LOFTID aeroshell design, three structural tests will be performed. The first test to be conducted is static load testing, which will induce a uniform load across the forward surface of the aeroshell to simulate the expected pressure forces during atmospheric entry. The IS integrated with the rigid center body will first be tested alone to provide data for analytical model correlation, and then the F-TPS will be integrated for a second series of static load testing of the full aeroshell system. Instrumentation will be employed during the test series to measure component loads during testing, and a laser scanner will be used to generate a 3D map of the aeroshell surface to verify that the shape of the structure is acceptable at the simulated flight loads. After static load testing, pack and deployment testing will be conducted multiple times on the integrated system to demonstrate the aeroshells ability to fit within the required packed volume for the LOFTID mission without experiencing significant damage. Finally, the aeroshell will undergo modal testing to characterize its structural response. This presentation will discuss the setup and execution of each of the three tests that the EDU aeroshell will undergo. In addition, initial results of the testing will be presented outlining key findings as LOFTID moves for-ward with fabrication of the flight aeroshell.
    Keywords: Aircraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN66439 , International Planetary Probe Workshop; 8-12 Jul. 2019; Oxford; United Kingdom
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: NASA is developing low ballistic coefficient technologies to support the Nations long-term goal of landing humans on Mars. Current entry, decent, and landing technologies are not practical for this class of payloads due to geometric constraints dictated by current and future launch vehicle fairing limitations. Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators (HIADs) are being developed to circumvent this limitation and are now considered a leading technology to enable landing of heavy payloads on Mars. At the beginning of 2014, a 6m diameter HIAD inflatable structure with an integrated flexible thermal protection system (TPS) was subjected to a static load test series to verify its structural performance under flight-relevant loads. The inflatable structure was constructed into a 60 degree sphere-cone configuration using nine inflatable torus segments composed of fiber-reinforced thin films. The inflatable tori were joined together using adhesives and high-strength textile woven structural straps. These straps help distribute the load throughout the inflatable structure. The 6m flexible TPS was constructed using multiple layers of high performance materials that are designed to protect the inflatable structure from heat loads that would be seen in flight during atmospheric entry. A custom test fixture was constructed to perform the static load test series. The fixture consisted of a round structural tub with enough height and width to allow for displacement of the HIAD test article as loads were applied. The bottom of the tub rim had an airtight seal with the floor. The rigid centerbody of the HIAD was mounted to a pedestal in the center of the structural tub. Using an impermeable membrane draped over the HIAD test article, an airtight seal was created with the top rim of the static load tub. This seal allowed partial vacuum to be pulled beneath the HIAD resulting in a uniform static pressure load applied to the outer surface. Using this technique, the test article was subjected to loads of up to 50,000lbs. During the test series an extensive amount of instrumentation was used to provide a rich data set, including deflected shape, structural strap loads, torus cord loads, inflation pressures, and applied static load. In this paper the 2014 6m HIAD static load test series will be discussed in detail, including the design of the 6m HIAD test article, the test setup, and test execution. Analysis results will be described supporting the conclusions that were drawn from the test series..
    Keywords: Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance; Aerodynamics
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN16166 , IEEE Aerospace Conference; 7-14 Mar. 2015; Big Sky, MT; United States
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: Over a decade of work has been conducted in the development of NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) deployable aeroshell technology. This effort has included multiple ground test campaigns and flight tests culminating in the HIAD project's second generation (Gen-2) aeroshell system. The HIAD project team has developed, fabricated, and tested stacked-torus inflatable structures (IS) with flexible thermal protection systems (F-TPS) ranging in diameters from 3-6 meters, with cone angles of 60 and 70 degrees. To meet NASA and commercial near-term objectives, the HIAD team must scale the current technology up to 12-15 meters in diameter. Therefore, the HIAD project's experience in scaling the technology has reached a critical juncture. Growing from a 6-meter to a 15-meter class system will introduce many new structural and logistical challenges to an already complicated manufacturing process. Although the general architecture and key aspects of the HIAD design scale well to larger vehicles, details of the technology will need to be reevaluated and possibly redesigned for use in a 15-meter-class HIAD system. These include: layout and size of the structural webbing that transfers load throughout the IS, inflatable gas barrier design, torus diameter and braid construction, internal pressure and inflation line routing, adhesives used for coating and bonding, and F-TPS gore design and seam fabrication. The logistics of fabricating and testing the IS and the F-TPS also become more challenging with increased scale. Compared to the 6-meter aeroshell (the largest HIAD built to date), a 12-meter aeroshell has four times the cross-sectional area, and a 15-meter one has over six times the area. This means that fabrication and test procedures will need to be reexamined to account for the sheer size and weight of the aeroshell components. This will affect a variety of steps in the manufacturing process, such as: stacking the tori during assembly, stitching the structural webbing, initial inflation of tori, and stitching of F-TPS gores. Additionally, new approaches and hardware will be required for handling and ground testing of both individual tori and the fully assembled HIADs. There are also noteworthy benefits of scaling up the HIAD aeroshell to a 15m-class system. Two complications in working with handmade textile structures are the non-linearity of the material components and the role of human accuracy during fabrication. Larger, more capable, HIAD structures should see much larger operational loads, potentially bringing the structural response of the material components out of the non-linear regime and into the preferred linear response range. Also, making the reasonable assumption that the magnitude of fabrication accuracy remains constant as the structures grow, the relative effect of fabrication errors should decrease as a percentage of the textile component size. Combined, these two effects improve the predictive capability and the uniformity of the structural response for a 12-15-meter HIAD. In this presentation, a handful of the challenges and associated mitigation plans will be discussed, as well as an update on current manufacturing and testing that addressing these challenges.
    Keywords: Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN30768 , International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW 2016); 13-17 Jun. 2016; Laurel, MD; United States
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: Mars 2020 will fly the Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation II (MEDLI2) sensor suite consisting of a total of seventeen instrumented thermal sensor plugs, eight pressure transducers, two heat flux sensors, and one radiometer embedded in the thermal protection system (TPS). Of the MEDLI2 instrumentation, eleven instrumented thermal plugs and seven pressure transducers will be installed on the heatshield of the Mars 2020 vehicle while the rest will be installed on the backshell. The goal of the MEDLI2 instrumentation is to directly inform the large performance uncertainties that contribute to the design and validation of a Mars entry system. A better understanding of the entry environment and TPS performance could lead to reduced design margins enabling a greater payload mass-fraction and smaller landing ellipses. To prove that the MEDLI2 system will not degrade the performance of the Mars 2020 TPS, an Aerothermal Do No Harm (DNH) test series was designed and conducted. Like Mars 2020's predecessor, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the heatshield material will be Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA); the Mars 2020 entry conditions are enveloped by the MSL design environments, therefore the development and qualification testing performed during MEDLI is sufficient to show that the similar MEDLI2 heatshield instrumentation will not degrade PICA performance. However, given that MEDLI did not include any backshell instrumentation, the MEDLI2 team was required to design and execute a DNH test series utilizing the backshell TPS material (SLA-561V) with the intended flight sensor suite. To meet the requirements handed down from Mars 2020, the MEDLI2 DNH test series emphasized the interaction between the MEDLI2 sensors and sensing locations with the surrounding backshell TPS and substrucutre. These interactions were characterized by performing environmental testing of four 12" by 12" test panels, which mimicked the construction of the backshell TPS and the integration of the MEDLI2 sensors as seen in Figure 1. The testing included thermal vacuum/ cycling, random vibration, shock, and arc jet testing. The test panels were fabricated by Lockheed Martin, establishing techniques that will be utilized during the Mars 2020 vehicle installation. Each test panel included one thermal sensor plug (two embedded thermocouples), one heat flux sensor, and multiple pressure port holes for evaluation. This presentation will discuss the planning and execution of the MEDLI2 DNH test series. Selected highlights and results of each environmental test will be presented, and lessons learned will be addressed that will feed forward into the planning for the MEDLI2 flight system certification testing.
    Keywords: Spacecraft Instrumentation and Astrionics; Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN39603 , International Planetary Probe Workshop; 12-16 Jun. 2017; The Hague; Netherlands
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-08-26
    Description: To support NASAs long term goal of landing humans on Mars, technologies which enable the landing of heavy payloads are being developed. Current entry, decent, and landing technologies are not practical for human class payloads due to geometric constraints dictated by current launch vehicle fairing limitations. Therefore, past and present technologies are now being explored to provide a mass and volume efficient solution to atmospheric entry, including Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators (HIADs). In October of 2014, a 3.7m HIAD inflatable structure with an integrated flexible thermal protection sys-tem (F-TPS) was subjected to a static load test series to verify the designs structural performance. The 3.7m HIAD structure was constructed in a 70 deg sphere-cone stacked-toroid configuration using eight inflatable tori, which were joined together using adhesives and high strength textile webbing to help distribute the loads throughout the inflatable structure. The inflatable structure was fabricated using 2nd generation structural materials that permit an increase in use temperature to 400 C+ as compared to the 250 C limitation of the 1st generation materials. In addition to the temperature benefit, these materials also offer a 40 reduction in structure mass. The 3.7m F-TPS was fabricated using high performance materials to protect the inflatable structure from heat loads that would be seen during atmospheric entry. The F-TPS was constructed of 2nd generation TPS materials increasing its heating capability from 35W sq cm to over 100W sq cm. This test article is the first stacked-torus HIAD to be fabricated and tested with a 70 deg sphere-cone. All previous stacked-torus HIADs have employed a 60o sphere-cone. To perform the static load test series, a custom test fixture was constructed. The fixture consisted of a structural tub rim with enough height to allow for dis-placement of the inflatable structure as loads were applied. The tub rim was attached to the floor to provide an airtight seal. The center body of the inflatable structure was attached to a pedestal mount as seen in Figure 1. Using an impermeable membrane seal draped over the test article, partial vacuum was pulled beneath the HIAD, resulting in a uniform static pressure load applied to the outer surface. During the test series an extensive amount of instrumentation was used to characterize deformed shape, shoulder deflection, strap loads, and cord loads as a function of structural configuration and applied static load. In this overview, the 3.7m HIAD static load test series will be discussed in detail, including the 3.7m HIAD inflatable structure and flexible TPS design, test setup and execution, and finally results and conclusions from the test series.
    Keywords: Structural Mechanics; Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN24246 , International Planetary Probe Workshop; Jun 15, 2015 - Jun 19, 2015; Cologne; Germany
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-08-13
    Description: Mars 2020 will fly the Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation II (MEDLI2) sensor suite consisting of a total of seventeen instrumented thermocouple sensor plugs, eight pressure transducers, two total heat flux sensors, and one radiometer embedded in the thermal protection system (TPS). Of the MEDLI2 instrumentation, eleven instrumented thermocouple plugs and seven pressure transducers will be installed on the heatshield of the Mars 2020 vehicle while the rest will be installed on the backshell. The goal of the MEDLI2 instrumentation is to directly inform the large performance uncertainties that contribute to the design and validation of a Mars entry system. A better understanding of the entry environment and TPS performance could lead to reduced design margins enabling greater payload mass-fraction and smaller landing ellipses. The MEDLI2 total heat flux sensors and radiometer are new instruments that were not flown on the Mars Science Laboratory mission. These sensors directly measure the surface heat flux and radiation at specific backshell locations. The total heat flux sensors use a Schmidt-Boelter sensing element. The radiometer version uses a sapphire window placed over the Schmidt-Boelter sensing element to separate the radiative component of the total heat flux. MEDLI2 recently planned and executed protoflight environmental testing as well planetary protection measures on the flight and flight-spare total heat flux sensors and radiometers. This testing is required to provide confidence in the performance of the flight-lot sensors when exposed to flight-like environments, and to reduce the risk of biological contamination on the planet of Mars with microbes from Earth.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography; Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN66433 , IPPW 2019 - International Planetary Probe Workshop; Jul 08, 2019 - Jul 12, 2019; Oxford; United Kingdom
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-08-13
    Description: NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) technology has been selected for a Technology Demonstration Mission under the Science and Technology Mission Directorate. HIADs are an enabling technology that can facilitate atmospheric entry of heavy payloads to planets such as Earth and Mars using a deployable aeroshell. The deployable nature of the HIAD technology allows it to overcome the size constraints imposed on current rigid aeroshell entry systems. This permits use of larger aeroshells resulting in increased entry system performance (e.g. higher payload mass and/or volume, higher landing altitude at Mars). The Low Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) is currently scheduled for mid-2021. LOFTID will be launched out of Vandenberg Air Force Base as a secondary payload on an expendable launch vehicle. The flight test will employ a 6m diameter, 70 degree sphere-cone aeroshell and will provide invaluable high-energy orbital re-entry flight data. This data will be essential in supporting the HIAD team to mature the technology to diameters of 10m and greater. Aeroshells of this scale will address near-term commercial applications and potential future NASA missions. LOFTID will incorporate an extensive instrumentation suite totaling over 150 science measurements. This will include thermocouples, heat flux sensors, IR cameras, and a radiometer to characterize the aeroheating environment and aeroshell thermal response. An inertial measurement unit (IMU), GPS, and flush air data system will be included in order to reconstruct the flown trajectory and aerodynamic characteristics. Loadcells will be used to measure the HIAD structural loading, and HD cameras will be mounted on the aft segment looking at the aeroshell to monitor structural response. In addition to the primary instrumentation suite, a new fiber optic sensing system will be used to measure nose temperatures as a technology demonstration. The LOFTID instrumentation suites leverages Agency-wide expertise, with hardware development occurring at Ames Research Center, Langley Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center and Armstrong Flight Research Center. This presentation will discuss the measurement objectives for the LOFTID mission, and the extensive instrumentation suite that has been selected to capture the HIAD's performance during the high-energy orbital re-entry flight test.
    Keywords: Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN53510 , International Planetary Probe Workshop; Jun 11, 2018 - Jun 15, 2018; Boulder, CO; United States
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-08-13
    Description: Over a decade of work has been conducted in the development of NASAs Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) technology. This effort has included multiple ground test campaigns and flight tests culminating in the HIAD projects second generation (Gen-2) deployable aeroshell system and associated analytical tools. NASAs HIAD project team has developed, fabricated, and tested inflatable structures (IS) integrated with flexible thermal protection system (F-TPS), ranging in diameters from 3-6m, with cone angles of 60 and 70 deg.In 2015, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced that they will use a HIAD (10-12m) as part of their Sensible, Modular, Autonomous Return Technology (SMART) for their upcoming Vulcan rocket. ULA expects SMART reusability, coupled with other advancements for Vulcan, will substantially reduce the cost of access to space. The first booster engine recovery via HIAD is scheduled for 2024. To meet this near-term need, as well as future NASA applications, the HIAD team is investigating taking the technology to the 10-15m diameter scale.In the last year, many significant development and fabrication efforts have been accomplished, culminating in the construction of a large-scale inflatable structure demonstration assembly. This assembly incorporated the first three tori for a 12m Mars Human-Scale Pathfinder HIAD conceptual design that was constructed with the current state of the art material set. Numerous design trades and torus fabrication demonstrations preceded this effort. In 2016, three large-scale tori (0.61m cross-section) and six subscale tori (0.25m cross-section) were manufactured to demonstrate fabrication techniques using the newest candidate material sets. These tori were tested to evaluate durability and load capacity. This work led to the selection of the inflatable structures third generation (Gen-3) structural liner. In late 2016, the three tori required for the large-scale demonstration assembly were fabricated, and then integrated in early 2017. The design includes provisions to add the remaining four tori necessary to complete the assembly of the 12m Human-Scale Pathfinder HIAD in the event future project funding becomes available.This presentation will discuss the HIAD large-scale demonstration assembly design and fabrication per-formed in the last year including the precursor tori development and the partial-stack fabrication. Potential near-term and future 10-15m HIAD applications will also be discussed.
    Keywords: Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: ARC-E-DAA-TN39680 , International Planetary Probe Workshop; Jun 12, 2017 - Jun 16, 2017; The Hague; Netherlands
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