An experimental investigation of high-enthalpy flow over a toroidal ballute (balloon/parachute) was conducted in an expansion tube facility. The ballute, proposed for use in a number of future aerocapture missions, involves the deployment of a large toroidal-shaped inflatable parachute behind a space vehicle to generate drag on passing through a planetary atmosphere, thus, placing the spacecraft in orbit. A configuration consisting of a spherical spacecraft, followed by a toroid, was tested in a superorbital facility. Measurements at moderate-enthalpy conditions ( 15-20 MJ/kg) in nitrogen and carbon dioxide showed peak heat transfer rates of around 20 MW/m2 on the toroid. At higher enthalpies (>50 MJ/kg) in nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and a hydrogen-neon mixture, heat transfer rates above 100 MW/m2 were observed. Imaging using near-resonant holographic interferometry showed that the flows were steady except when the opening of the toroid was blocked.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2004|