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The Apollo Parachute Landing System

The Apollo Parachute Landing System

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NOAT_,,'r,_P

VEI!TURA

TP-131

THE

APOLLO

PARACHUTE

]._NDING

SYSTEM

{NASA-CR-131200) LANDING Newbury SYSTEM Park,

TIE (Northrop Calif.)

APOLLO

PARACHUTE Corp., N73-71907

Ventura 28 p

H
!. ' _I _/
f

__ U0/99

Inclas 65643

T.

"_V. Knacke Ventura

Northrop

Paper AIAA DECELERATOR SECOND

Presented

at the

AEROD'fNAMIC SYSTEMS CONFERENCE

El

Centro,

California

September

1968

This

Paper

summarizes from NASA Ventura.

the work MSC, North

of a dedicated American

group Rockwell

of

personnel and

Northrop

NORTHROP

VE;TrURA

INTRODUCTION

"o J

The most

"Apollo most

Parachute thoroughly

Landing

System" and and

today most

is probabily thoroughly

the tested

advanced, system module for water System, abort

engineered It stabilizes

parachute command suitable Escape mission does

in existence. after the mission

decelerates to a descent together crew

the Apollo velocity with the Launch

is completed it provides, landing orbit.

landing. the means prior any

In addition for safely

the Apollo The weight, Apollo

for all system altitude

cases

to obtaining

parachute or

not establish

records

in recovered the

velocity,

of parachute approach combined standing crew from and

deployment. the extensive

However, utilization and system

unique

systems and have

engineering systems created landing analysis an out-

of reliability methods

with

advanced

design

testing

redundant

man-rated

capable missions.

of safely

the Apollo

pre-lift-off

to completed

The landings abort single This the or

system

approach normal

started landing cases

with

a design

concept mission the or as

that defined and mission rule that

aii

including as

after and

completed established loss of crew

landings component somewhe,

operational failure

ground mission

no

should approach

cause was with

failure. of most

arbitrary system

replaced,

the development approach functions to the and

parachute least

progressed,

a probability or series

likeable

combinations subsystems.

of parallel It ruled

failures an and a

of components extremely testing low _f those

and

out those and

cases

that had

probability combinations related defined

of occurrence with

required

development above method

a probability

of occurrence This and

"significant" provided

level

to total mission system reliability

reliability. approach, resulting module safety

a tlearly

permitted

the

establishment was able by

of logical with the

design

criteria.

The command

parachute weight measures

system increases dictated

to cope normal

considerable changes and

caused

design

the

added

NORTHROP

VENTURA

by

the

command

module

fire.

Landing but

after not

completed

lunar

mission

is

primarily All limit

a problem design and cases high

of reliability of high loads pad are

of high

performance large cases, command

requirements. module

dynamic the

pressures, of abort

oscillations high altitude

result

in particular,

abort

and

abort.

The landings (CM), motors forward outside around are the

Apollo shown

spacecraft in Figure Escape

and I and

the

subsystems

involved

in parachute Module control or

include with

the Apollo canards

Command and the

Launch

System protection latter

(LES)

pitch-over apex cover

(PCM}, heat the the

the boost shield. The

cover

(BTC),and the parachute of the

protects upper

system command

located module

crew LEM

compartment adapter docking

in the

part

tunnel.

LAUNCH

ESCAPE

BOOST

PROTECTIVE

COVER

APEX

COVER,

COMMAND

MODULE

SERVICE

MODULE

364

FT

5-|VB

Figure

I.

The

Apollo

Spacecraft

2

_ORTHROPVI_'_TURA

The the approach

subsequent to systems new

paragraphs reliability,

of this design

report

discuss based

recovery on

modes,

criterias parachute other

failure series design and

probability, parallel details.

approaches of vital

to testing components,

of the and

system,

redundancy

interesting

RECOVERY

CONCEPT

The primary by means

parachute modes: launch

landing

system

must after

assure completed from

safe

landing

for and

two (b) landings crew

landing of the

(a) landing escape system

mission; the time 300, normal Module

(LES)

the Apollo 000

is in the second be the

spacecraft booster by escape

prior

to take-off Above

to approximately 300, and 000 feet

feet after can

stage

ignition.

landings (CSM)

performed launch

the Apollo system.

Command

Service

without

Landings upon three minimum sequencing pressures the altitude

after

mission abort

abort takes

involve place:

special

problems

dependent extensive stringent complex dynamic

at which

(a) Pad-Abort deployment altitude results and abort

causes poses involves

axis

spacecraft altitude modes; and

motions

at parachute (b) medium altitude

requirementsi and (c) high loads.

abort

in maximum

parachute

The spacecraft system horizontal sufficient of the seat

selected emergency

emergency landing the

escape system. command

concept

is similar

to the Mercury escape and assures The the size

It consists module or

of a launch with safe

(LES)

that provides from

vertical and

separation altitude

the booster sequential

the booster-fireball parachute deployment. eliminates

for proper, of an the

fireball,

in case used on

on-the-pad-emergency spacecraft.

ejection

approach

Gemini

Early bility

in the

program, for normal

it was and

decided abort

to establish landings.

the

same This

reliacreates

requirements

mission

3

NORTHROP

VENTURA

the

need

of sufficient for the

time

for failure of a back-up

sensing

and

for

obtaining

adequate of a when a

altitude

deployment primary the

parachute latter time

system

in case difficult with

malfunctioning one considers

system. thrust

The and

is especially required

necessary pad-abort

to cope

booster

tilt-over

emergency.

It may systems tation. for the All exist These Mercury

be

of interest use the

to mention parachute the Apollo

here as the

that

only

four means

man-rated of transporsystems

which are, and

primary the

besides Gemini use the

spacecraft, and and

parachute

spacecrafts primary

the paratrooper parachute

parachute. concept.

of these

systems

back-up

PARACHUTE

SYSTEM

The is shown

final parachute 2. Two

system ribbon with the

selected drogue only back-up need and After

for

the Apollo

command

module initial and

in Figure and

parachutes one parachute mode. for creates disconnect deployed rate an

accomplish being

deceleration the second

stabilization, providing eliminates CM

required both sensor, main

parachute

Deploying emergency more the

para-

chutes provides parachute chutes

simultaneously for faster

the

stabilization conditions.

favorable two drogue

deplo)rment are followed two by

para-

three will

pilot parachute provide the of the the

Ringsail

main for

parachutes; water main chute. failure landing

of which A detailed

of descent

necessary

landing. parachute Again sensor,

analysis eliminated

probability for

of two a fourth the more

simultaneous main for paraa

failures deploying saves

necessity

all three time and

parachutes altitude and

precludes establishes

need

favorable

conditions. The selection of the particular as on parachutes the is based use on general per-

formance chute types

characteristics for the Gemini

as well and

successful

of these systems.

para-

Mercury

parachute

landing

4

NORTHROP

V1Er|llJRA

" Back -up I I

Ring PiIot

Slol Chul*

Chute 16.5-gt-Dia. Ribbon One-Step t l_oEue _ _.IP.-_ IZZ Parachute Re_fi_g Conical

l
Texlile Rtser

'
t ..L _ "-

1-}
HI

_Deploymenl I I Single Steel

_

"
g Cable

R_ngaail Z-Step

Parachute Reefing

\ \l

L

Textile Riser

\

" 4-PLy Sleel Zqo _ \ ]TO Cabte

1494

_I_

\
DROGUE ASSEMBLY CHUTE MAIN P ASSF

1-_--_.._____

g-Ply

Sleel

Cable

a.R ACHUTE M B LIES

Figure

2.

The

Apollo

Parachute

System

NORMAL

PARACHUTE

DEPLOYMENT

The mission

parachute

deployment 3.

sequence The recovery

for landing sequence

after completed starts with the turning cover is used cover the of Z9.5 by simultaand at

is shown

in Figure control feet.

off of the reaction

system A

and with the ejection of the apex ringslot parachute recontact between

an altitude of 25,000 to support command individual degrees. ordnance neously Chutes apex cover

7.2 foot diameter and to prevent parachutes

removal two

module.

The

drogue

are mortar module hang

ejected, angle

attach points provide At I0,000

for a command parachutes

feet the drogue

are disconnected deployed

cutters

and three

pilot parachutes module

are mortar

at 90 degrees in turn extract

to the command the three main

vertical; these The

pilot parasequence

parachutes.

deployment system

is controlled override mode

by a fully automatic available

redundant system

sequencing

with a manual discretion.

as back-up

at the astronauts

5

NORTHROP VENTURA

_, ,

....

" f

F"

' "I""

/
\ , J

I
I

/
1

i

!
Three Extrlcted Dep|ol'ed Rate Vv -of 29 Main by Piloz Delcent ft/.ec Plr_chutes Mortar Chatel Three Chules Deployed Altitude ]_eeftd in Two Stepz DroEue

i Chule s T_o Mortar T ÷ DroKue ChuZes At Apex by and Rin_ Time, Co, er Eiected 5tart

l
Of Deployed }.6Sec l:Z'yro÷Thr_er 7.2-ff-dfa. ._loz ParJchute 0 .e¢ Allitude: Velocity: 25. 0.7 000 Mach r_ _eco_ery Pilot Mor_]r

Disconnected

_10,

000

ft

Figure

3.

Normal

Landing

Sequence

ABORT

PARACHUTE

DEPLOYMENT

SEQUENCE

The Figure 4.

abort This

parachute

deployment

sequences prior command The

are illustrated in to launch to an altitude of escape motor motor and

mode

is operational Upon

from abort

approximately

300, 000 feet.

the launch pitch over

fires and lifts ;:he CM the canards degree provide

off the Saturn horizontal Fourteen

booster. CM

separation, seconds

turn-around,

and a limited tower,

of stability.

after CM

lift-off, the escape followed

boost protection

cover,

and docking

probe

separate sequence control with

by the time on the by

or altitude controlled altitude of recovery the automatic override abort, mode

parachute initiation.

deployment The primary system The

depending again

is provided controlled

redundant available

sequencing as back-up.

an astronaut on pad

astronaut,

or low altitude the main

can

select to override immediately

the drogue

parachutes

and to deploy

parachutes

as long as the dynamic main parachute

pressure

and the altitude

are within the allowable

deployment

limits.

6

HORTHROP VENTURA

HIGH

ALTITUDE

A_ORT

Eject Clnardl |1 Sec

IAunch

EJCUpe

Abort

*

_'ct

Tower

Probe T_me BPC + • Dockln| ]4 Sec

Deploy |I ._.ec

C_n_

rds Dllconn_-ct _ '

/
Figure 4.

LOW

ALTITUDE

ABORT

\_

Abort

Landing

Sequences

PARACHUTE

DEPLOYMENT

ENVELOPE

The primary Figure after 25,000 two may

operational

parachute parachute

deployment and main

envelope parachute

defines

the two see module

regions 5. At the

of drogue final phase

deployment, command

of a completed attitude. automatic

mission At an

the

reentry, feet and

descends below

in stable 124 psf an

altitude

of approximately deploys The the

sequencing in Figure feet

system 5).

drogue deploy make

parachutes the drogue

(normal parachutes to do

reentry up so.

region to 40, 000

astronaut con-

altitude

if flight

ditions

it advisable

In case in dynamic of the altitude feet drogue abort

of high

altitude as high above parachute

abort as 204 25,000

command psf;

module

motions manual and as low low

can

result

pressures parachutes require

this precludes Pad abort

deployment or as medium 3, 000

feet.

deployment I0 to 100

at altitudes psf range.

at dynamic

pressures

in the

NOilTHROP VErIIUR._

q

=

_I

/

PSF

DE

P [,OY

_,| ENT

EN

v-_ I _'PE q " IZ4 PF;F

I0

IIIP,

II

A 1 .TIT

Ui3F_

AR_RT A LTTTUD'_ (1000 FT)

R IF'C;T(3N

D;K P Z0

lmOYb.l

EN

T

I

_"

OR_.{AI.

IKNTRY

RKC,

IC)"C

Z

/zz.,',,

..

a

I 0.!

I O.Z

| 0.1 M ACH ,_0. 0.4

[

I 0.'_

i 0.6

J 0.7

Figure

5.

Parachute

Deployment

Envelope

The hatched drogue of mortar deployment to 18,000 area

main

parachute 5.

deployment Automatic

region

is defined

by

the

crossof the two by means

in Figure and

simultaneous of the three occurs at main ll,000 in abort ascent

disconnect parachutes feet. cases and Main

parachutes ejected by

deployment

pilot parachutes control

parachute 10, 000

automatic

may

occur lag and

between

feet dje

to aneroid

sensor

descent

hysteresis.

It is interesting chute disconnect to main can

to note

that

during canopy

the

interval

from

drogue

para-

parachute

stretch

a dynamic

pressure

increase

of Z0 psf

occur

in vertical

descent.

The reaction use

command system after causes

module (RCS).

during Use

reentry

is stabilized active of RCS

by

a redundant fuel prevents

control RCS

of a chemically Lack

of the

parachute command

deployment. module deployment, motions

stabilization roll and yaw. main parachute deployment loads.

during This

abort

in pitch,

complicates

parachute and were

causes increases

nonsynchronous individual parachute

parachute All and these load

deployment conditions condition.

opening, considered

and

in determining

8

t"lORTltROP

V1EI_URA

SYSTEM

APPROACH

A defined main A

qualitative

system system

analysis consisting system a third of one

at the of one for main drogue

start

of the

Apollo

program and two

a parachute parachutes drogue as

drogue successful parachute, and/or Potential to the

parachute normal formed one main

the

primary and

landing. a back-up parachute point failures

second

parachute

reserve without within extent. and

that permitted loss the A of crew or

failure command

modules. to be avoided

single maximum for

recovery minimum stages. design

system factor

were

possible all components

of safety

of 1.35

was

defined

parachute This

rule

concept to the

was

supplemented

as

the project

progressed and

by

a statistical parallel

approach and that

probability An abort, module failures due

of occurrences extensive

of single

multiple was and

series i'ncluded

failures. mission

reliability

analysis parachute at parachute as well as

performed component

sequencing attitude and

failures, motions action

failures, pyro-mechanical

command

deployment, due This model

to premature between a computerized

to lag of action, system

aerodynamic assessment

interference utilized

parachutes,

etc.

reliability

mathematical reliability and a

that included by

sensitivity

studies, and

calculations

of the to the

contributed reliability

all components

subassemblies

system

apportionment

for the parachute

subsystem.

A system not be

flight mode

probability with less

analysis than a

concluded "significant" probability

that

cases

where

a

failure considered

occurred as by

probability analysis was

need applied and sub-

a design looking

case. at each

This

in a logical system and

fashion

component,

subassembly,

considering: What is its failure mode?

Its probability Its test history?

of failure?
f

f_ORTHROP

I/IE_TVRA

Its complexity Can Gan

? and checked? failure be detected? etc.) or passive analysis (structure)?

it be inspected

its failure or impending ordnance,

Is it active (relay, Table of which used 1 shows

a typical probability were

for actual flight modes approaches shown were in deployed

12 different modes various

investigated. cluster

Similar

to analyze 6. The

parachute

deployment cluster

modes

Figure

superiority

of a parachute

with independently conventional

parachutes approaches,

(system systems

I) in comparison

to the more

deployment

II and Ill, is obvious.

Table

I.

Probability

of Parachute

Load

and Failure

Occurrence

k_fa i. Flight M,Jde No, Pdr_chutPn of

Parachute

_-_s,_
R_,ered

_,_--_.-i z.
Ree f('d ] C,,_menl

t(1)

n r)

_M

_ZK.

nn I

_Z_

nn.!

_O

SM

> zl.oonl >_.onn
> Z_.,'_oo < Z_ onn! I",,HII marginal I.ad is

ID

2M

ID

_M

<

Z _,0001<

t. _, n_Oi

ZD

ZM

<

ZK

000

<

Z t

nllo

ZD

]M

<

,% _, OnO

<

_ +,.non

(]]

Flli_h!

Mode

h

HiKh

allit,lde al Z

ab:,rl,

mlx|mul'_ CM

_vnarfl_¢ allihld<,

_r_l_l?_ a_ m_i_n.

g,

rlrnQlle 12 Fli_hl

discnnnec! m_,_p_

and cn_M,,r_d.

main

par_rh,,r*

deplovmen! (Z} (]) (4} Standl Awlume4 Allumed for no drogue chule. allowable allowable

unravnrable mien pa_achule c|u_er load p_rachul_s

mixirn_rn maxirn_rn

h_&d

l0

NORTHROP VEHTURA

._v[N

i

rret_ _r tlewP¢_E_T

w e.e_uw

J_'

%,

'c

L._

11

ii •

,_l. T

,fT.._

Figure

6.

Reliability

Comparison

of Parachute

Cluster

Systems

DESIGN

CRITERIA

The ground the prime MSC, the rules

results and

of this probability design criteria with

analysis each case

were

then

used

to establish upon with

jointly

agreed

contractor responsible being

North

American

Rockwell agency.

Corporation design

and

NASA and

Government

Following

rules

criteria

are

applied:

l)

All

mission

aborts

are

operational

modes.

2)

The

primary and

system two

consists main

of a single with main

drogue a redundant parachute

parachute drogue serving

parachutes a redundant

parachute as back-up.

and

3)

No or

single component mission.

failure

shall

cause

loss

of crew

ll

NORTHF_OP VE_TURA

4)

The such

probability as loss

of occurrence drogue

of parallel parachutes extent drogue to be

failures be

of two

shall

minimized Failures and one

to the such main as

maximum loss of one are

possible. parachute considered.

parachute

s)

The be

total equal

parachute to or better

landing than

system 0. 99994.

reliability

must

6)

Components such designed well as as for

or ordnance

assemblies devices, of

that aneroids

control or

active relays functioning

functions must as be

prevention

premature

nonfunctioning.

7}

A

minimum

factor

of safety components load tests.

of

1.35 and

must

be

proven load

for

all structural in ultimate

parachute

stages

s)

All

parachutes utilize

shall active

be

independently means.

deployed

and

shall

deployment

DESIGN

LOADS

An criteria design bined

analysis

of that not

the the

parachute maximum at modes. normal

deployment drogue reentry

envelope parachute but at abort and

and main

of

the

design

indicates loads with do other

parachute com-

occur

conditions

failure

The following duced the

probability

analysis

described component

previously failures loads:

determined and

that pro-

combinations, maximum

of events, drogue parachute

anomalies

design

High One

altitude drogue

abort parachute command module deployment. attitude and motions at

Unfavorable drogue parachute

12

NORT_fROP

VENTUFLA

The following

maximum

main :

parachute

design

loads

are

produced

by

combinations

High Single Two

altitude drogue main

abort parachute

parachutes main CM parachute attitude deployment due to

Differential unfavorable Maximum Aerodynamic resulting

at parachute cutter

extraction time parachutes

differential blanketing in a lag and

reefing between lead

reefed

parachute

condition.

These all subsequent drogue events; among command of-freedom design normal loads. and

combinations load main stages

not

only

affect The

the

reefed

parachute loads of the

load reefed

but

as well. are not

maximum by the and

parachutes

caused

same mutual here

combination agreements that as soon

of

this necessitates all agencies module

an extensive It may

analysis be

involved. motions

mentioned become for

as

in three

axes

important determining

a six-degreemaximum occurring on a to be at

computer Figure the

program 7 shows maximum

is desirable the calculated

parachute loads" load

loads

reentry,

calculated events and the

"design ultimate

based calculated

combination 1.35 times

of anfavorable the design load.

A proving

requirement, in tests

new

in parachute stages

development, will withstand

is the the

need

for load

that all parachute design load.

ultimate

of i. 35 times

the

Actual compliance

ultimate the

load

test points

are

shown

in Figure

7 to document

with

stringent

test requirements.

13

F.'GRTHROPVENTI_RA

0

/
,01_ °

o \
."/
/r%

h
/J

°.

"" _ ._o

"R

/_,

"

_"/

\

0

o

i'

/I _

/

/

,

/ / /

,,-

_-

-%, / / %

.---UL"_rMATE

/\o,,

-_

R t.n,DS

2OTi • h . _ /

ro

H,C,H*L''TUOEAeORT

'Tokg_:0":i_ li_ TE I% t_
r

/ / // /.
Ill o

/
/

.oc,,MP,

/

'o

MAIN PARACHUTE

DROCU_ CHUTE

0 DC MP

SUCCESSFUL TEST DROGUE C]IUTE MAIN pARACHUTE

100 DYNAMIC "PR'ES_UBE

ZOO q . PSF"

100

Figure

7.

Drogue

Parachute

and Main

Parachute

Loads

DEVELOPMENT

ANT') QI]Ai,TFTCATION

TESTS

Testing normally loads values Apollo vehicles Apollo CM

of the Apollo

parachute

system

introduces systems.

problems The design

not limit

encountered

in testing

of parachute

for both the drogue that cannot command (ICTV)

parachute

and the main

parachute

are calculated

be obtained module

in aircraft drop

testswith

a free failing test the were

test vehicle.

Instrumented (PTV)

cylindrical

and a parachute deck

test vehicle a much besides

that duplicated vehicle diameter

parachute These

but had

smaller being

substituted. able to reach permitted

test vehicles

more

ec0nomical descent

were that

after aircraft drop

velocities

in vertical

to obtain the design procedures were

as well greatly

as ultimate complicated

parachute

loads.

Test

by the requirements a minimum failures had

that all components

and parachute

stages

had to demonstrate

factor of safety of I. 35 in vertical to be duplicated in tests.

tests and that component

14

NORi'HROlI VI[NTURA

Final hardware and

qualification a geometrically Important

tests

were and

conducted

with similar

spacecraft Apollo points

end

item

dynamically modes Figure and

boilerplate of the as test

test vehicle. parachute conditions.

operational envelope, see

specific

deployment

5, were

selected

ICTV's modified Single tories tests and and C-133

and

PTV's

were was

dropped for

from dropping

B-52 the

and

B-66

aircraft,

a

aircraft

used

boilerplate

test vehicles. trajec-

multiple test

programmer

parachutes

established tests

vertical or

conditions and main test

for individual parachutes vehicle

parachute same

consecutive An Apollo in

of drogue

at the prior

test mission. after test is shown

boilerplate Figures

parachute 8 and 9.

to and

Figure

8.

Apollo

Boilerplate

Vehicle

Ready

for

Test

15

NORTItRCP

VE_ITU RA

Figure

9.

Apollo

Boilerplate

Vehicle

After

Test

PARACHUTE

LOAD

TESTS

Design and multiple

load drogue

and

ultimate

load and of the

tests main

were

conducted using

with ICTV's stage

single and can This stages since PTV be

parachutes loads deployment

parachutes

test vehicles. obtained approach the the by the dynamic same by

Ultimate parachute

first reefed dynamic

parachute pressure.

at a high loads of the

fails to produce pressure value

ultimate end of the of the

in subsequent first reefing point. by

reefed stage

at the

always

approaches was length solved of

independent the weight or by

starting

This

problem the

increasing reefing.tlme

test vehicle, of both

decreasing

a combination

methods.

• had

It was a pronounced

found

during not

these only but

tests on the

that drag

the wake area also

of the

test vehicle parachute load

effect

of the on the

drogue dynamic

in the wake

of the

forebody

surprisingly

16

N_RH_ROP

VEI_IJRA

factor various factor decreases thus order to load

C K.

This

is indicated the drogue

by

the

data

in Figure drag

I0 which the

shows dynamic wake

for load not only and in

test vehicles C K and the dynamic typical drag

parachute force

areas, The the

parachute but

traces. notably data have an

turbulent load

area

increases These obtained

fluctuations

the

load what

factor. loads

to be ICTV

taken or PTV

into account are

to predict predictions

behind module.

equivalent

for the

command

It was

impossible This test

to predict requires

parachute not only

test proper

loads load

with

the

desired methods and and

accuracy but

of 5 percent. also proper

prediction parachutes

conditions on-board and range

through

programmer

time accurate with

delays,

accurate

instrumentation instrumentation

measurements, data It was that found can be

meteorological the on-board

coordinated

telemetry testing

measurements. requires and notable evaluated

that the technology before test data can 5 per-

of parachute be predicted,

improvements with an accuracy

obtained,

approaching

cent.

]. 4

r_
r.., nar_t¢ L_cl Factor ]. CZ< I.Z

t

D

[]

14 Drag Area CD$ (FT 2) _00 IZO

I

1 '
0


I "rime I LO

i
I II.q

i
S.8

Diameter (FT1

------_-Con f_Ru ration

_

i

D_s{_._tion

BIP

PTV

!CTV

Veh_cl_

Command M,_du_r

P_rac_r Trot Ve_icle

C_lindrical Te_t _,'ehicle Tvpl_a|

Time

[_4d

Tra¢._

Figure

I0.

Drogue Factor

Parachute C K

Drag

Area

CD.S

and

Dynamic

Load

for Various

Forebodies

17

NORTHROP

VENTURA

FAILURE

TEST

Component and series drogue

failures parachute failures by as

that were and as main well

duplicated parachute as other

in tests failures,

included main

single parachute

second tests

stage were

reefing

combinations. group

All

these to assure or

monitored benefits

a reliability as

engineering

in order of test

maximum failure.

well

independent

assessment

success

ENVIRONMENTAL

TEST

Extensive primarily cycling No high would

tests vacuum,

were and

performed high dacron,

to determine

if space

environment,

temperature elastomers, on

or vacuum-temperature pyrotechnics and for dacron th_ Apuilu for the with and when metals. exposed

affect

nylon,

strength

to a vacuum system. and main

degradation was encountered -A of i0 - Torr, the vacuum temperature for It was apex cover along profiles as

nylon

specified were well main

pa_achuL_ drogue follow-on increased the heat

Detailed parachutes landings. ° after and

established as for reentry

spaceflight found

nor_nal to 140F shield strength factor ultimate of the test

that the from

parachute

temperature around The working

ejection

the hot main

air flowing

streaming

the packed cannot

parachutes. when was

resultant with a in results

loss

of 4 to 7 percent of ].35. in the A

be

neglected

of safety load extensive

strength of an

degrading equivalent tests

factor higher are

introduced load. The

tests

form

test

laboratory

environmental

documented

in numerous

reports.

18

NORTHROP

VENTURA

QUALIFICATION

TESTS

Seven boilerplate This

qualification test vehicle three altitude and

drop the

tests

were

conducted end with or item

with

the Apollo system. parachute the

spacecraft tests two

parachute

included

normal and use

reentry of either

variation drogue Two

in drogue parachute, tests

deployment latter high mode altitude

one

duplicating aborts, Only

a single giving the

parachute maximum Parachute

failure. dynamic was used loads.

duplicated

pressure in these Two

at parachute tests tests in order covered minimum The with

deployment. to obtain low time second immediate than limit

one

drogue high

representative aborts using

main

parachut_ two and

altitude sequence

in one

test,

drogue main

p_rachutes

with

for drogue an

parachute astronaut

parachute drogue

deployment. override

test duplicated main case

initiated

parachute that resulted

parachute dynamic

deployment, pressure at main

a condition parachute in a near All load load

in a higher The two low

opening. huLi_o_al qualification data

altitude with

abort

tests

dupiicated CM

deployment and good

trajectory tests were

representative Attempts

attitudes to obtain

motions. parachute type

successful. tests without

in qualification was not entirely

introducing due to the

non-spacecraft

links

successful

difficulty

of instrumerLting

actual

S/C

hardware.

PARACHUTE

SYSTEM

DETAILS

Numerous parachute deployment, divergent coupled system.

interesting The with

design

details requirement

are

contained

in the Apollo parachute necessitates angles module risers in CM

reliability large and

of independent oscillations, deployment command the the

coupled drogue

command main type

module

parachute thruster the

pilot parachute deployment. The between least,

with

positive create rear

oscillations and the hot

possibility shield, and

of contact last but not

parachute increase

heat

19

NORTHROP

VE_;TURA

weight

without

an

accompanying cluster storage

increase loads and resulted

in compartment in novel design

volume

or for

allowable parachute

parachute packing,

approaches

shape

retention.

DROGUE

PARACHUTE

MORTAR

ASSEMBLY

The four parachute

installation

of the

two bays

drogue is shown end

parachute in Figure in steel

mortars Ii. All which

in one drogue are

of the

compartment main means were parachute of the selected

parachute to the steel hot CM cables

and by

risers

cables As due

attached previously,

so-called to avoid

"flower'pot." riser module damage

mentioned to contact The ply

with need

the

heat

shield

in case

of command radii was

oscillations. by using four the

for cables

small swagged risers. strain

steel

cable

bending

solved the

steel

into The gages

common white attached

fittings strings to the

for both

drogue iI are

and

main

parachute leads to equipment.

shown risers

in Figure and are

electrical

not part

of spacecraft

-_

:=-_.-:.:_-_.:_

_1'(

......

I._.:.

",

%.

. +.

. ..... +:++:.:.:.]. j,;-+._C +_;.-- <:

.,.].#+_+._,.

...
+'.+-.: ! [

-+ . _.+..+ ,++ _ ........ ++_P,'+, ......+..+,+.++],+,
.._ ++._ t,_+"+ .+_x+: _ ,+._+ +

|

/" ]r_#+P_÷",+_N K + _-_!_,_,+_A _ ..,. +_.___ +-f...:. ..... +....
,.+-.-+ +.

+

Figure

II.

Drogue

Parachute

Bay

2O

NORTHROP

VENTURA

Figure cable kinking without

12

shows and riser

the

mortar

assembly orifice secured risers

which design. and are the then and

incorporates In order risers cast the

an

unusual riser under foam. without

steel

storage both

cartridge ends are

to prevent are coiled

tension Upon

twisting the by

the

ends;

the

in urethane stretch

deployment kinking Command the steel

light foam the motions to bend

disintegrates pre-wound during and

risers

releasing module risers

tension. drogue the parachute flower the pot steel deployment resulting cables. may cause

roll over pot collar with are are lead

in abrasion Surrounding this problem; cartridges

bet_veen each see

the

Titanium steel All

flower cable mortars firing

and

individual Figure 13.

tubing

helped

to minimize and dual

hermetically used.

sealed

requiring

symptomatic

CARTRIDGE

R F.STR

[CTOR OFFSET

X

ORIFICE

"0"

RING

COVER

NIGER A_E_(BL¥

Figure

12.

Drogue

Parachute

Mortar

Assembly

Zl

NORTHROP

VENI[UFIA

Figure

13.

Steel

Cable

Protection

MORTAR

ORIFICE

DESIGN

The parachute could not

increase size and

in CM weight by

weight produced

and

the

resultant forces An

increase upon

in drogue firing orifice heavier more powerthat was

reaction structure. muzzle the and

mortar hybrid for the of the and used the The

be

tolerated

the the

CM

eroding velocity loads

developed drogue

that

maintained without Designs are

required

parachutes

increasing of standard

reaction hybrid 14.

ful cartridges. characteristics shown in the

orifices

pressure orifices typical eroding and the as

compared left hand as seen

in Figure corner in the

Previously 14 produce diagram. burn away

upper curve

of Figure right hand

pressure-time orifice allow has more

brass gas

and

aluminum the

inserts mortar

which The

progressively insert results the mortar keeps in a

to enter of the

tube. gas pressure

aluminum This design

temperature reasonably tion loads

level constant within

expanding tube limits.

high. and

mortar

maintains

reac-

allowable

22

rtORTHFIOP VE_TURA

_ODY

A;

-

AUGk¢_NTOI'

LEGEN|>

STAN_D

_D

( FIXED}

Ol_ IFICE .... IDZ_L TUBE

_

P_ESgU_

E

CURVE

/
STA_/t_Ai_D ¢)PTF_CE HYI!_ID ORIY|CE

\

P_};SC_E

CI;RVF_

V'%

ORZFIC_

(a_:.FORF_

AND

AFTEF

US_

Figure

14.

Mortar

Orifice

Details

MAIN

PARACHUTE

REEFING

SYSTEM

Project used increase mandatory introduced protected reef, drogue design reefing set will reef reefing rupture parachute. a reefed

Mercury parachute,

was The parachute

the

first

man-rated in CM made

parachute weight without

system an

that equivalent system was to be

increase loads parachutes. that disreefing introduced The reefing details the

in allowable for by the the three

a two-stage An additional main as the

reefing

main

complication had failure time on the

requirement premature requirement parachutes, parachute used cutters. the parachute; to the two second for the

reefed as well for

parachutes against first

against a reliability and of the lines main main are

to disApollo

of the are with premature of both The and will

resultant shown each line severance lines is stage have result

mechanical in Figure having its of one required has only that 15, Two

system stage, or

first

individual line to disone premature of the

of two not the

reefing

Rupture

disreef parachute line with

separation stage. Analysis reefing line

second tests not

cutters. stage

proven

of the

second

in destruction

23

_

NORTHROP EI'_TLIRA. V

STAGE

I]

REEFING

LINE

_

_'

_"

STAGE

I REEFING

LINES

-_-_.,

'

"

"

"_ _,/,"

f/

, .-

.:J/"

/)_

\\ _ \\---

DRA_'ST_r_C

"N Y'-, RACH

DUAL

REEFING

RING

Figure

15.

Main

Parachute

Reefing

Mid-gore

reefing

is used

on

all parachutes

with

the

cutters

were

developed The string

with slack of the the

both part same

first of the

stage second as

lines

passing

through

the

same

ring with string stage lipe.

opening. a draw approach This and

stage first and

reefing stage

line is gathered line; this draw the second

length

the

avoids

problems worked

of stowing without

securing during

reefing

system

malfunction

all development

qualification

tests.

MAIN

PARACHUTE

RETENTION

SYSTEM

The segment and the and

main must

parachute maintain

deployment their highly

bags

form

part

of a truncated throughout cover after

cone storage and reentry.

compressed gap between

form

mission packed the

in order parachute development

to assure necessary cycle

a specific for heat the hard

the apex during and

protection main

During

packed

parachutes

experienced

24

NORTHROP.VE_TURA

a Z5 percent This resulted

weight

increase

and a 6 percent pack density

decrease

in allowable inch. without

volume. The growth

in a parachute form

of 0. 0245

ib/cubic

truncated by combined wooden layers bays The

cone

is maintained and vacuum former. film. with

for a period packing and

of one year storage

pressure

of the bag in a with two parachute see Figure 16.

compartment of polyethylene

Vacuum The bags

sealing is maintained in the command on three module

are restrained retention system flaps.

daisy

chain

retainers

sides,

connects The

directly to the deployment bag itself incorporates

bag without several layers

intermittent of dacron

deployment

felt for heat protection.

Figure

16.

Main

Parachute

Retention

System

The

large presses shaped

required are

for packing in Figure

of the main 17. The

parachutes parachute, ready in for

into the conical vacuum storage

bags

shown

in the wooden or storage

former

sealed with ]8.

plastic film, This concept

transportation its shape

is shown

in Figure Apollo

has proven

holding

capability

in several

flights.

25

_ORTXROP

VE_TURA

I %

Figure

17.

Parachute

Packing

Presses

:il

Figure

18,

Main

Parachute

Vacuum

Storage

26

NORTHROP

VENTURA

GONC

LUSIONS

The Command The

Apollo Module

Parachute from with weight than

System time prior

is capable to Lake-off

of safely

landing

the

Apollo mission. redun-

to completed

space

ability

to cope

all conceivable and 3 g's volume, are The

emergencies, and a maximum

full system parachute

dancy,

minimum to less Landing

force

equivalent Parachute accept increase changing engineering development North

outstanding basic design

characteristics proved flexible

of the Apollo enough to

System. increase envelope volume

a substantial in recovery parachute approach required

in command and load velocity

module

weight,

and

a resultant without reliability

of parachute A and

deployment systems and

or

requirements. in scope

unprecedented

complexity and skills

in parachute of NASA and was MSC,

the joint engineering and Northrop

efforts to meet and

American A

Rockwell major

performance development

schedule the lack

requirements. ,_f adcquaLe loads and

difficulty ine'_hods for

in design propc_'if

a}_alytical stresses systems. major

prcdicLing and

C_:_.._Kc the

boLe.riot,

of the

aerodynamic

decelerators of these prediction volume,

combined must testing preeconomy

parachute cede any

Development

methods or

improvements landing

in weight, systems.

loads,

of future

spacecraft

This spacecraft standing spacecraft

paper landing

describes system, approach landing

the the

complex

requirements

for

the Apollo and the out-

broad

engineering for the

spectrum

reliability parachute

required system.

development

of this man-rated

27

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