Ballutes & Decelerators
Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators
What is an Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD)?
IAD's are deployable heat shields used for atmospheric reentry. The primary benefit is to allow a very large aeroshell to be packaged into a small volume for launch. ILC has worked on numerous innovative concepts for IAD's over the years and pioneered several constructions techniques in use today. This type of structure could prove invaluable for allowing large payloads to enter Mars' atmosphere as well as to reduce launch costs for cargo return to Earth.
ILC Dover's Role in IAD Development
ILC is the leader for advanced flexible materials, manufacturing technologies, and embedded electronics technologies for IAD's. Robust material systems have been tested that use multifunction insulation layers to provide thermal protection for the IAD structure and the payload of the reentry vehicle. We have specialized facilities and machinery for the assembly and test of gas containment, structural, and insulation materials and assemblies.
To date, there has been only one successful IAD flight at hypersonic conditions, IRVE-II. ILC worked closely with NASA to support design, system integration, and testing for the IRVE decelerator. The IRVE-II flight article and all engineering development units were manufactured at ILC's state of the art manufacturing facility in Frederica, DE.
Additionally, ILC has supported NASA in the development and fabrication of Tension Cone and Isotensoid wind tunnel test articles under the PAIDAE program. These wind tunnel tests have been used by NASA and Georgia Tech Institute of Technology to further the understanding of aerodynamic flows and finite element modeling of decelerators within various mach regimes.
ILC Dover's Decelerator Program Summary
|1992||CEM Ballute||Design and production of weapon systems - 10 million produced at ILC||TRL 9|
|1994||BAT Ballute||Design and production for weapons systems, Army||TRL 9|
|1999||Tucked Back Ballute||Study for LMSSC Space Systems||TRL 2|
|2002||FASM Decelerator||Study and flight demonstration, Army||TRL 6|
|2002||Morphing Ballute||Study for an Aerospace Company||TRL 2|
|2002||Lifting Body Ballute||Study for an Aerospace Company||TRL 2|
|2003||SMD Ballute||Study and flight demonstration, Boeing||TRL 6|
|2003||AS&T Ballute||Study for access to station, Aerospace Company||TRL 2|
|2003||Admiral Ballute||Study and wind tunnel testing, Aerospace Company||TRL 5|
|2006||Dominator Decelerator||Study and prototype fabrication, Boeing||TRL 4|
|2005||ISP Inflatable Aeroshell||Study and design/analysis, Lockheed Martin||TRL 2|
|2006||ISP Ballute||Study and wind tunnel testing, Ball Aerospace||TRL 3|
|2004||Mars Micro Ballute||Study and prototype fabrication, JPL||TRL 3|
|2005||GOLD Deorbiting Decelerator||Study and analysis, DARPA||TRL 3|
|2006||AIRS Offset Ballute||Study design and analysis, JSC/LaRC||TRL 2|
|2007||ARIES I Decelerator||Study for recovery system, ATK||TRL 2|
|2007||ES&RT Ballute||Study and seam sample testing, Ball Aerospace||TRL 2-3|
|2007||IRVE I Decelerator||Test flight, LaRC, Experiment Failed||TRL 6|
|2008||PAE-DAI Testing||Wind tunnel test article and materials, LaRC||TRL 3-4|
|2008||Hypersonic Payload Decelerator||Study for recovery system||TRL 2|
|2009||IRVE II Decelerator||Successful Test flight, LaRC||TRL 7|
|2009||Rapid Eye Inflatable Decelerator||Phase 1 Study - Orbital||TRL 3|
|2009||Rapid Eye Inflatable Decelerator||Phase 1 Study - Lockheed Martin||TRL 3|
|2009||Rapid Eye Inflatable Decelerator||Phase 1 Study - Boeing||TRL 3|
|2009||Rapid Eye Inflatable Decelerator||Phase 1 Study - Northrop Grumman||TRL 3|
|2009||Advance Materials NRA, HMMES||Material development and prototype fabrication, LaRC||TRL 3-4|
|IRVE Hypersonic Decelerator Flight Test|
|PAI-DAE Atmoshpheric Decelerator Technology (ADT)|