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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Integrated Inflatable Ballute for Planetary Entry

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Integrated Inflatable Ballute for Planetary Entry
CFDRC and TRLA are proposing to develop, design, and test a mass-optimized isotensoid inflatable structure that makes maximum utilization of materials in providing tailored stiffness and rigidity for hypersonic entry vehicles. The proposed inflatable structure is a hybrid isotensoid pressure restraint employing an impervious cloth-reinforced barrier structure enveloped by an integrated array of high-tenacity tendons. The segregation of material functions provides greater design flexibility to meet stiffness and thermal protection requirements, while the external grid of cordage tendons provides mass- and load pathway-optimized containment of the structure's global pressure loads. The focus of the Phase I effort is to develop and demonstrate the isotensoid inflatable structure, complete with thermal protection hardware and load bearing attachment fittings for guidance and control hardware. The tendon materials will be evaluated for their strength at high temperatures while cloth structural materials will be evaluated for their stiffness and thermal insulation properties to produce a truly multifunctional structural enclosure. Integrated fluid-structure-thermal simulations will be conducted with CFDRC's validated tools to provide insight into the aerodynamic, material stress and localized heating effects on the model and to verify/optimize the proposed design. Phase II activities will focus on fabricating and testing a prototype of the proposed inflatable structure to validate the design robustness and capability for larger payload masses. Pre and post testing multidisciplinary simulations will be conducted to verify and optimize the design. Additional simulations will be conducted for verification under exact flight conditions. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.