RITD - Re-entry: inflatable technology development in Russian collaboration

Objects re-entering the atmosphere of the Earth from space require systems to decelerate the object during its descent phase as well as protection against temperatures of several hundreds of degrees of centigrade caused by the atmospheric friction. RITD team study the feasibility of using with the Earth re-entry a system developed for entering the Martian atmosphere. The focus of this work will be in analyzing and measuring the dynamical stability in transonic phase of a brand new re-entry and descent system for low mass payloads. We are to investigate an entry, descent and landing system developed for Mars. This system is based on brand new technology involving inflatable structures saving a considerable amount of mass compared to traditional rigid structures.


The project behind is Mars MetNet Mission, which is a planetary exploration mission to Mars, aimed to deploy on its surface a meteorological station based on a new type of semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). This work will investigate the feasibility to use the MetNet entry and descent system at Earth allowing for scaling modifications for the key systems assuming deorbitation from a LEO orbit. Specifically, this work will analyze by simulations and by wind tunnel testing the stability of the entry and descent system during the supersonic and transonic phases of the descent in the atmosphere of the Earth. This work will foster collaboration between Russian and European organizations, and will provide brand-new knowledge on the re-entry systems. This project will effectively reduce duplication of research efforts and will open new avenues for joint space technology research and development.

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