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Center Innovation Fund: LaRC CIF

Mars Magnetoshell Decelerator EDL-SA study

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Mars Magnetoshell Decelerator EDL-SA study
A recent NIAC phase I study (Kirtley et. al.) demonstrated experimentally a subscale magnetoshell with a 1000:1 increase in aerodynamic drag for a 1.6 meter argon magnetoshell, and a system study showed that aerocapture for a 60 mt payload, following the DRA5 reference architecture, using a 2.5 m magnet generating a 21 m radius magnetoshell, potentially eliminated the need for a dedicated aerocapture TPS. However, the NIAC phase I study did not align with well the existing Mars EDL-SA architecture studies. Additionally, the NIAC phase I study showed that magnetoshell decelerators may be situated better for large, unmanned missions and aerobraking than manned missions that would require aerocapture. The goal of this proposed IRAD study is to follow the year one focus of the EDL-SA Exploration-class study approach, using the same ground rules/assumptions and figures of merit, to compare a magnetoshell based EDL system for a 40 mt landed payload with the other EDL-SA exploration architectures, delivering a comparison white paper report along with the generated aerodynamic database and developed models at the end of the study.MSNW, LLC has been awarded a Phase II NIAC study to investigate the 3D orbital entry and capture mechanics; investigate the thermal, structural, electrical, and magnetic system requirements of a magnetoshell decelerator; conduct a hypersonic plasma-neutral interaction validation study; develop a detailed aerocapture orbital gravity model based on the satellite tour design program (STOUR); and evaluate cost and risk of a magnetoshell aerocapture system. This IRAD study would complement the MSNW, LLC NIAC study by developing an architecture study to allow a direct comparison between the magnetoshell decelerator concept and other deployable EDL technologies being developed at Langley and Ames. More »

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