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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 4, Fostering a Greater Understanding of IDC< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 388
Joined: Aug. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 21 2012,05:52   

Quote (dhogaza @ Mar. 21 2012,00:13)

Iíve been given a promotion at work which will require even more time to solve problems with FEA simulations concerning an inflatable isotensoid supersonic decelerator for upcoming Mars missions.

In plain english, due to budget cuts, the next mars lander will land on a glorified whoopie cushion.

It is actually intended as a replacement for the parachutes used to decelerate the craft during atmospheric re-entry. They normally use a rigid aero-shell with a parachute capable of supersonic deployment to slow the thing down prior to landing.

The new system, if I recall, is an inflatable cone that deploys to the rear of the spacecraft - it turns the spacecraft into something like a shuttlecock, used when playing Badminton. You get nice stable ballistic flight with lots of drag, but fewer payload size limitations than with the parachute method.

I believe (but couldn't find a citation that wasn't behind a paywall) that GA's are one optimisation technique being used in their design.

  10669 replies since Aug. 31 2011,21:06 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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