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Inflatable Re-entry Technology


Advanced Inflatable Re-entry Descent Development Technology (IRDT)

Tech Area / Field

  • SAT-UNM/Unmanned Spacecraft/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Nietzold D

Leading Institute
NPO Lavochkin, Russia, Moscow reg., Khimki

Project summary

The development of space technology allows solving the problems of delivery from the orbit of different payloads to the Earth. However, the use of traditional methods of re-entry and braking in the atmosphere is not always desirable by technical or economical reasons, and in some cases (great sizes and masses of spacecraft) is impossible. Moreover, as the manned astronautics (ISS) develops, the strong problem of development of inpidual means of astronauts rescue and delivery to the Earth increasingly arises. The system of compact type in the inoperative state, simple and reliable at the utilization, accessible and cheap at the fabrication has qualities capable solving this and some other tasks.

The IRDT technology can replace some of stand IRDT systems of re-entry vehicles such as devices intended for the braking in the atmosphere (parachutes, aerodynamic heat shields, etc.) and landing devices (air bags). The feasibility of such approach and the system's design will be demonstrated during execution of this Project.

The IRDT demonstration will give a possibility to check functional characteristics and technology capability during fulfillment of different stages of the flight, main of which are re-entry, aerobraking, landing and the vehicle detection.

The project tasks are as follows: definition of the re-entry vehicle design configuration, characteristics of systems providing its operation during execution of phases of re-entry, motion in the Earth's atmosphere and landing in the desired region with the pre-determined accuracy, provision of the payload localization during given time-interval and confirmation of expected characteristics of the re-entry vehicle at the phase of its entry into the atmosphere (entry angle, aerodynamic stability, thermal and mechanical environment). The Project shall be finalized by the fabrication of Flight Model Demonstrator (IRDT-FM) and during real space Flight. The launch of the SOYUZ LV with FREGAT Upper Stage on March-April 2000 is the main option for the demonstration of the IRDT.

Preliminary, accounting materials will include the following sections:

- Definition of requirements of IRDT subsystems;
- Development of the general diagram of the IRDT functioning;
- Determination of ranges of the ПШТ output parameters, to be analyzed in this Project;
- Analysis of different trajectories of the IRDT descent in the terrestrial atmosphere;
- Determination of main characteristics of the ERDT and its on-board subsystems, for example:

- aerodynamic characteristics of proposed shape of the IRDT,
- thermodynamic characteristics the IRDT,
- stability during all phases of operation;

- Technical documentation on the fabrication of laboratory models of the IRDT;
- Fabrication the laboratory models;
- Laboratory tests the IRDT models;
- Technical documentation for the fabrication the Flight Model Demonstrator intended for delivery of payloads from the low Earth orbits to the Earth;
- The Flight Model Demonstrator fabrication;
- Preparation of the documentation for the IRDT technology demonstration;
- Analysis and processing of results of the IRDT demonstration;
- Analysis of advances of the IRDT technology capability utilization for delivery of different types of payload from low Earth orbits to the Earth.

The personnel of the Lavochkin Association in the framework of the "Mars-96" Project in the period of-1995 - 1996 carried out the works on the development of the Re-Entry Vehicle (REV) using the IRDT technology.


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