NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Entry, Descent and Landing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Hypersonic Free-flight Measurement of Aeroshell Forces and Flowfields

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Complere Inc
P.O. Box 541
Pacific Grove ,CA 93950 - 0541
(831) 646 - 5370

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
F. Kevin   Owen
P.O. Box 541
Pacific Grove, CA  93950 -0541
(831) 646 - 5370

A Hypersonic Gun Tunnel and laser based high speed imaging systems will be used to generate a unique, free flight, aerodynamic data base of potential Mars aeroshell configurations. These experiments will provide reliable bench mark data for CFD code validation and help aerocapture modeling and optimize aeroshell payload and design. The experiments will be conducted at hypersonic Mach numbers in air and in simulated Martian atmospheric test gases and will cover the hypersonic continuum flow regime. The innovative test results will help improve aerocapture analysis and prediction techniques that will lead to reduced deceleration propellant launch weight, increased payload, and improved delivery accuracy. These improved measurement capabilities will greatly enhance U.S. commercial and military competitiveness in aerospace vehicle design and production, and help regain and stimulate a viable customer-testing base, which will help preserve and improve our national wind tunnel testing infrastructure. These new capabilities will provide significant test data improvements, which will greatly enhance our ability to understand the physical flow phenomena associated complex flows over advanced aerospace vehicles.

The development of improved high speed imaging systems for free-flight aerodynamic and non-intrusive flow field measurements for hypersonic flows will contribute to the National Space Program by providing test techniques and data that will help establish a sound technological foundation for the cost effective design of future aerocapture space transfer vehicles. Reliable experimental methods will be essential to the success and cost effectiveness of future space missions. These novel capabilities will have a direct impact on the testing of new military and commercial concepts designed to improve efficiency and performance. These new instrumentation techniques will provide improved measurement accuracy with which to assess the effects of subtle design changes for aerothermodynamic improvements which could otherwise be masked by conventional wind tunnel test techniques. They will help to provide NASA with superior test capabilities at competitive cost and so help attract a viable customer testing base which will be required for cost effective facility operations and vehicle development.

During the twenty-first century, industries will thrive in orbit and in space colonies, with research laboratories and manufacturing plants taking advantage of the microgravity environment and new sources of raw materials. If U.S. companies do not lead these activities, others will, putting the U.S. at a commercially competitive disadvantage. To encourage private investment, we must reduce payload and mission costs. Improved aerocapture technology will help achieve this. To maintain a commercial edge, we must improve aerocapture technology for orbit insertion since it provides significant economic advantages over conventional chemical propulsion methods by reducing vehicle mass and mission pay load cost. The improved experimental techniques developed with SBIR support will contribute to cost-effective aeroshell design techniques for aerocapture entry vehicles.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Testing Facilities

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12