Passive Thermal Control for the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Test Vehicle Spin Motors Sub-System
Mastropietro, A. J.
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Future missions to Mars will require improved entry, descent, and landing (EDL) technology over the Viking-heritage systems which recently landed the largest payload to date, the 900 kg Mars Science Laboratory. As a result, NASA’s Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project is working to advance the state of the art in Mars EDL systems by developing and testing three key technologies which will enable heavier payloads and higher altitude landing sites on the red planet. These technologies consist of a large 33.5 m diameter Supersonic Disk Sail (SSDS) parachute and two different Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD) devices – a robotic class that inflates to a 6 m diameter torus (SIAD-R), and an exploration class that inflates to an 8 m diameter isotensoid (SIAD- E). All three technologies will be demonstrated on test vehicles at high earth altitudes in order to simulate the Mars EDL environment. Each vehicle will be carried to altitude by a large helium balloon, released, spun up using spin motors to stabilize the vehicle’s trajectory, and accelerated to supersonic speeds using a large solid rocket motor. The vehicle will then be spun down using another set of spin motors, and will deploy either the SIAD-R or SIAD-E, followed by the SSDS parachute until the vehicle lands in the ocean. Component level testing and bounding analysis are used to ensure the survival of system components in extreme thermal environments and predict temperatures throughout the flight. This paper presents a general description of the thermal testing, model correlation, and analysis of the spin motor passive thermal control sub-system to maintain spin motor performance, prescribed vehicle trajectory, and structural integrity of the test vehicle. The spin motor sub- system is predicted to meet its requirements with margin.