Journal Article Aerodecelerator Performance of Flare-Type Membrane Inflatable Vehicle in Suborbital Reentry

Takahashi, Yusuke  ,  Ha, Dongheun  ,  Oshima, Nobuyuki  ,  Yamada, Kazuhiko  ,  Abe, Takashi  ,  Suzuki, Kojiro

54 ( 5 )  , pp.993 - 1004 , 2017-09 , American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
A flight experiment of an inflatable reentry vehicle, equipped with a thin-membrane aeroshell deployed by an inflatable torus structure, was performed using a JAXA S-310-41 sounding rocket. The drag coefficient history was evaluated by analyzing the acceleration of the vehicle with atmospheric density and temperature using a global reference atmospheric model. The vehicle successfully demonstrated deceleration. During the reentry flight, the position, velocity, and acceleration of the vehicle were obtained by using the Global Positioning System. The experimental drag coefficient had an almost constant value of 1.5 in the supersonic region but decreased to 1.0 in the subsonic region. In the transonic region, a steep decrease of the drag coefficient was confirmed. To study the detailed aerodynamics for the reentry vehicle, flow-field simulations were conducted with computational fluid dynamics techniques. The aerodynamic force acting on the vehicle was investigated with the measured data throughout the supersonic and subsonic regions. In the flow-field simulation, the computed result for the drag coefficient shows reasonable agreement with the experimental one. In addition, a compressible effect in front of the vehicle was seen to appear in the supersonic region and a vortex ring at the rear of the vehicle was formed in the subsonic region.

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