Drag modulation flight control system options for planetary aerocapture

Zachary R. Putnam, Robert D. Braun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Drag modulation flight control may provide a simple method for controlling energy during aerocapture. Several drag modulation fight control system options are discussed and evaluated, including single-stage jettison, two-stage jettison, and continuously-variable drag modulation systems. Performance is assessed using numeric simulation with real-time guidance and targeting algorithms. Monte Carlo simulation is used to evaluate system robustness to expected day-of-flight uncertainties. Results indicate that drag modulation flight control is an attractive option for aerocapture systems at Mars where low peak heat rates enable the use of lightweight inflatable drag areas. Aerocapture using drag modulation at Titan is found to require large drag areas to limit peak heat rates to non-ablative thermal protection system limits or advanced lightweight ablators. The large gravity well and high peak heat rates experienced during aerocapture at Venus make drag modulation flight control unattractive when combined with a non-ablative thermal protection system. Significantly larger drag areas or advances in fabric-based material thermal properties are required to improve feasibility at Venus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013
StatePublished - Aug 19 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013 - Grapevine, TX, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2013Jan 10 2013

Publication series

Name51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013

Other

Other51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013
CountryUnited States
CityGrapevine, TX
Period1/7/131/10/13

Fingerprint

aerocapture
flight control
Flight control systems
drag
Drag
control system
flight
Modulation
modulation
thermal protection
Venus (planet)
Venus
heat
Titan
mars
targeting
simulation
Mars
Gravitation
Thermodynamic properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering

Cite this

Putnam, Z. R., & Braun, R. D. (2013). Drag modulation flight control system options for planetary aerocapture. In 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013 (51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013).

Drag modulation flight control system options for planetary aerocapture. / Putnam, Zachary R.; Braun, Robert D.

51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013. 2013. (51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Putnam, ZR & Braun, RD 2013, Drag modulation flight control system options for planetary aerocapture. in 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013. 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013, 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013, Grapevine, TX, United States, 1/7/13.
Putnam ZR, Braun RD. Drag modulation flight control system options for planetary aerocapture. In 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013. 2013. (51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013).
Putnam, Zachary R. ; Braun, Robert D. / Drag modulation flight control system options for planetary aerocapture. 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013. 2013. (51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013).
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