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Spacecraft Behaviour in Atmosphere


Experimental Complex for Development Testing of Systems of Recoverable Spacecrafts and Investigation of Processes Accompanying Their Flight within the Atmosphere by Launching a Volna Rocket Along Ballistic Trajectories

Tech Area / Field

  • SAT-STM/Spacecraft Trajectories and Mechanics/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Makeyev Design Bureau of State Rocket Center, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Miass

Project summary

This project seeks to carry out the research in order to make an experimental complex for the development testing of elements and systems of recoverable spacecrafts, including capsules of artificial earth satellites and interplanetary vehicles, and the investigation of processes accompanying their flight within the atmosphere. It is assumed that the experimental complexes will be launched by a Volna rocket out of a submarine when simulating the parameters both for superorbital paths and for interplanetary trajectories.

The Project must determine the configuration and the main characteristics of different versions of the experimental modules as well as potential capabilities of the Volna rocket to launch a flying experimental module along perse trajectories and under the simulations conditions required by Customer for the descent conditions.

The flying experimental modules can be used to resolve the following fundamental problems:

- investigation of flow regimes into a boundary layer, determination how they affect formation of ablated shapers and flight parameters;
- investigation how asymmetry in inertia moments, mass and aerodynamic configuration of a vehicle affects its motion parameters during its flight within the atmosphere;
- investigation of ways how to improve accuracy of determination of aerodynamic char acteristics;
- determination and development testing of efficiency for aerodynamic and gasdynamic control devices during the descent;
- development testing of facilities for stabilizing rolling moment of vehicles;
- investigation of efficiency for facilities reducing microaccelerations;
- investigation of touchdown systems for recoverable vehicles;
- investigation of thermal physical properties of materials and their failure for various levels and durations of thermal action;
- upper-atmosphere research;
- investigation of plasma formation around vehicles and radio communication with the vehicles.

As a result of the research the representative experimental modules will be established for the development testing of elements of recoverable spacecrafts and the investigation of processes accompanying their flight within the atmosphere during launchings of the Volna rocket when simulating the parameters both for suborbital paths and for interplanetary trajectories, for example, of the following types:

- experimental module for the development testing of heat-protective materials, thermal physical loads affecting a space vehicle during its earth-atmospheric entry with the circular velocity and the planet escape velocity;
- experimental module for investigation of flow regimes into a boundary layer, determination of their effects to ablated shapes and flight parameters, development testing of control devices;
- experimental module for investigation of touchdown systems, control systems and a number of others.

Taking into account the energy capacity of a Volna rocket the possible limits of parameters will be determined for perse trajectories:

- mass of recoverable experimental elements as components of the experimental module depending on values of entry velocity and entry path angle;
- maximum and integrated values of dynamic pressure and thermal flow depending on values of entry velocity and entry path angle;
- values of pressure and mechanical loads to the experimental element and the module as a whole during atmospheric flight;
- permissible overall dimensions and characteristics of mass for experimental elements based on their arrangement into the payload bay of rocket and depending on the entry conditions required by Customer;
- values for angle of attack to be made during earth-atmosphere entry; more detailed set of components for command, sensing, recording and telemetering equipment;
- improved characteristic of the parachute touchdown system.

The demonstration launch of the experimental complex as a component of the Volna rocket can be carried out in 1.5 yeas after the completion of this Project.

A technical approach to the Project development has its base in using the scientific and engineering potential of the State Rocket Centre "Makeyev Design Bureau" and presents the following:

- use of engineering decisions about rocket, recoverable vehicle, command and telemetering equipment, parachute system, conditions of operation, application and search, that have been tested during launches conducted earlier and investigated in Project #190-95 of ISTC;
- use of the available methodologic for calculation of characteristics of an experimen-tal complex, analysis of launches made;
- use of the available laboratory-research base to investigate and test the engineering decisions made at the development stage;
- use of available production facilities.

The investigations to be carried our will define the configuration and overall dimensions and characteristics of mass for the representative experimental modules used for the development testing of elements of recoverable spacecrafts and will give the opportunity to make a demonstration launching of the experimental complex by means of the Volnarocket in 1.5 years after Project completion.

Foreign collaborators may take part in the experiments by making investigations more precise, archiving to efficient decisions and delivering materials, elements of structure and equipment of their own systems and vehicles to do research in them.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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