Design, integration and preliminary results of the IXV Catalysis experiment

Alan Viladegut, Francesco Panerai, O. Chazot, T. Pichon, P. Bertrand, C. Verdy, C. Coddet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The CATalytic Experiment (CATE) is an in-flight demonstration of catalysis effects at the surface of thermal protection materials. A high-catalytic coating was applied over the baseline ceramic material on the windward side of the intermediate experimental vehicle (IXV). The temperature jump due to different catalytic activities was detected during re-entry through measurements made with near-surface thermocouples on the windward side of the vehicle. The experiment aimed at contributing to the development and validation of gas/surface interaction models for re-entry applications. The present paper summarizes the design of CATE and its integration on the windward side of the IXV. Results of a qualification campaign at the Plasmatron facility of the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics are presented. They provided an experimental evidence of the temperature jump at the low-to-high catalytic interface of the heat shield under aerothermal conditions relevant to the actual IXV flight. These tests also gave confidence so that the high-catalytic patch would not endanger the integrity of the vehicle and the safety of the mission. A preliminary assessment of flight data from the thermocouple measurements shows consistency with results of the qualification tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalCEAS Space Journal
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Catalysis
  • Ceramics
  • Experiment
  • Flight data
  • IXV
  • Re-entry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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  • Cite this

    Viladegut, A., Panerai, F., Chazot, O., Pichon, T., Bertrand, P., Verdy, C., & Coddet, C. (2017). Design, integration and preliminary results of the IXV Catalysis experiment. CEAS Space Journal, 9(2), 141-151. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12567-016-0136-2