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The successful exploration of space requires a system that will

reliably transport payload such as personnel and instrumental etc. into space and return them back to earth without subjecting them an uncomfortable or hazardous environment. In other words, the spacecraft have to and its payloads be recovered safely into the Earth. We have seen the re-entry

capsules and winged space vehicles approach the earth followed by safe landing.

However, this could be accomplished only after considerable research in high speed aerodynamics and after many parametric studies to select the optimum design concept.
Re-entry systems were among the first technologies developed in

1960s for military photo-reconnaissance, life science and manned space flights. By 1970s, it led to the development of new refurbish able space shuttles. Today space technology has developed to space planes which intend to back go and come regularly from earth to space stations. USA’s HERMS and Japan’s

HOPE is designed to land at conventional airports. Few significant advances
in current proposed re-entry capsules are ballistic designs to reduce development

and refurbishable cost, to simplify Operations. For entering into atmospheric and non-atmospheric planet problem involves is reducing the spacecraft’s speed . For control of the

an atmospheric

planet the problem involves essentially deceleration, aerodynamic heating, time & location of landing. For non-atmospheric planets, the problem involves only deceleration and control of time & location of landing.

The vehicle selected to accomplish a re-entry mission incorporates a thick wing , subsonic ( Mach < 1 ) airfoil modified to meet hypersonic




(Mach>> 1 ) thermodynamic requirements. The flight mechanics of this vehicle are unique in that rolling manoeuvres are employed during descent such that dynamic loading and aerodynamic heating are held to a minimum. Therefore re-entry technology requires studies in the following areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Deceleration Aerodynamic heating & air loads Vehicle stability Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) Guidance and Landing.



The temperature of parachute is about 1000-1300o C. The objective of this paper is to provide a modest degree of understanding of the complex interrelation which exist between performance requirements mission constraints . The carbon fiber is able to keep its functionality up to a temperature of 1500-2000o C. vehicle design and trajectory selection of typical re-entry mission. There is no conceivable problem to manufacture the parachute from carbon fiber. a light parachute decreases Shuttle speed from 8 km/s to 1 km/s and Shuttle heat flow by 3-4 times. Though it is not large. Re-entry capsules promises to intensify international competition in launch services. the structural loading and heating environment experienced by booth no lifting and lifting re-entry vehicle is given.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 4 1. A brief presentation of the flight regimes. The author examined the atmospheric reentry of the USA’s Space Shuttles and proposed the use of high temperature tolerant parachute for atmospheric air braking. The proposed new method of braking may be applied to the old Space Shuttles as well as to newer spacecraft designs. These systems will also confer an important strategic advantage in the conduct of materials and in life science research. industry has produced high-temperature fiber and whiskers. microgravity research and space technology development. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . The parachute surface is opened with backside so that it can emit the heat radiation efficiently to Earth-atmosphere. ABSTRACT In recent years.

Along the re-entry flight several mission constraints much be Imposed arising from the structural limit. Re-entry and hypersonic glide fight. 3. The unguided first flight segment (Keplarian trajectory) initiated by a rocket reboots maneuver at a specific orbital point determines the flight flight segment covers the atmospheric glide condition at re-entry. Gravitational force acting towards the centre of the planet. The third flight segment does the final approach and landing. 3. The second at an altitude of 120 km to 30 km during which the re-entry vehicle’s high initial kinetic energy is dissipated by atmospheric breaking. 2. Deorbit and Descent to sensible atmosphere at an altitude of nearly 120kms. 2. crew comfort and control limits. According to the different constraints the mission profile can be divided into three distinct flight segments:- 1. The various forces acting on the re-entry vehicle are:1. Gas dynamic force opposite to the direction of motion of the vehicle. final approach and landing. CONSTRAINTS AND VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS The safe recovery of the spacecraft and its payloads is made possible by the re-entry mission. RE ENTRY MISSION PROFILE. Transition flight phase. All these phases are shown in Fig. Centrifugal and gas dynamic lift force acting normal to the direction of motion of the vehicle.1.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 5 2. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING .

The actual flight loads experienced by the vehicle depends upon: 1. 4. Current flight static conditions (eg : velocity. The most important design parameters with respect to re-entry performance are given by : 1. where L= aerodynamic lift A= aerodynamic lift area M= vehicle m D = drag DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . 3. light weight materials and structures. Lift to Drag ratio.g. Vehicle properties (e. 5.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 6 These limits require the flight n <= n max State of the vehicle to the constrained such that the:- 1.T Qdt <= Q1max T <= Tmax 2 The maximum admissible values of these factors are highly dependent on the state of the technology involved regarding heat resistant. Heat flux Heat load Surface temperature q = 1∕2 pv <= qmax Q <= Qmax Q1 = O. aerodynamics) and thus specific re-entry trajectories and design parameters. Wing loading. Ballistic coefficient. Dynamic pressure 3. 2. m ∕A (kg ∕m2) B= m ∕(Cd * A) L∕D .: geometry. temperature) 2. Load factor 2. angle of attack) 3. weight. Local atmospheric environment (eg: density.

RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 7 Cd= drag coefficient Depending on the specified mission requirements the second or third property is chosen as design drivers. 2. ENTRY CORRIDOR DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING .Parts of a space vehicle 3.

the vehicle will not slow down considerably in order to complete entry in a single pass. Overshoot passage was considered a good way to came back from moon or more distant planets. Terrestrial flights are tolerant of guidance error accompanying a landing approach. An undershoot may cause destruction of vehicle during entry and an overshoot may result in a homeless exit to space. Mars. overshoot at the outer corridor at parabolic speed = (2gRo)1/2 or at an elliptical speed < (2gRo)1/2 or at an elliptical speed . The ‘undershoot’ boundary and ‘overshoot’ boundary forms the upper and the lower limits of the entry corridor. and Titan. (2gRo)1/2 will result in a multipass entry. In this way the heat problem would be DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . the vehicle will enter the atmosphere at an excessively steep angle. Although overshoot at hyperbolic velocity > (2gRo)1/2 may result in a homeless exit to space. Each pass through the atmosphere would slow down the vehicle a little. Figure shows the explanation of entry corridor and possible path for vehicle with lift to Venus. thereby experiencing too much deceleration. Hence the shaded portions representing excessively overshoot and undershoot are excluded as not representing the intended entry maneuver. so that it would return in a series of successively shorter ellipses. If the guidance error results in an excessive undershoot as shown by the two dashed trajectories. If the guidance error results in an excessive overshoot as shown by the two outer dashed trajectories.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 8 An entry corridor is a range of entry conditions within which an entry is possible.

MARS AND TITAN Corridor width Planet 5g limit 10g limit DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . The width of entry corridor (rp) for non-lifting (L/D<0) and lifting (L/D>1) entry into various planetary atmosphere is given in the table below for entry at planetary velocity (2gro)1/2. 2. EARTH. When either truly circular entry is made inside entry corridor or final entry is made through multipass scheme. Entry Corridor for PLANET. heat taken on each approach being radiated during the next outward journey. the descent trajectory through the atmosphere is similar to entry from a satellite orbit. VENUS. namely ballistic path. glide path or slip path.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 9 solved.

RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 10 L/D=0 Venus Earth Mars Jupiter 0 0 338 0 L/D=1 43 43 482 55 L/D=1 modulated 58 55 595 68 L/D=0 13 11 644 0 L/D=1 84 82 885 84 L/D=1 modulated 113 105 1159 113 DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING .

The deceleration force is the product of two quantities. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . resulting in a minimum deceleration with subsequent decreasing acceleration. Initially deceleration increases and at some point of velocity begins to decrease more rapidly than the density increase. thus lengthening the path to the ground and decreasing the maximum deceleration. it first encounters an atmosphere of very low density. Figure gives an idea about the drag and lift forces. The gas dynamic lift and drag motion and the resultant acceleration and the deceleration very directly with the atmospheric density P and square of velocity V2 . Lift can reduce rate of descent. GAS DYNAMICS AND DECELERATION The most important problem that a re-entry mission has to face is the atmospheric deceleration. When the vehicle enters the atmosphere the gas dynamic force modify such motion. When too much deceleration is intolerable. as it goes deeper and deeper density of the atmosphere increases rapidly and velocity begin to decrease due to drag. As the vehicle approaches the planet. Gas dynamic force acts in a direction opposite to the vehicle motion. Before entering to the atmosphere. Space shuttles use their wings to skim the atmosphere and stretch the slow down period to more than 15 minutes and thereby reducing the deceleration forces to about 15N. The deceleration forces can be as great as 600 to 900N for unmanned space probes. Figure shows the changes during re-entry.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 11 4. one increasing and the other decreasing. aerodynamic lift must be used. The gas dynamic drag force causes the reduction in the vehicles velocity and the centrifugal and lift forces cause acceleration normal to the direction of motion. Thus vehicle’s deceleration varies with PV2. the motion of a vehicle is governed by its own inertia and its gravitational force.

Programming of rocket thrust is desired for best controlling the time and location of landing. it falls freely through air.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 12 When the spacecraft has lost most of its speed. DECELERATION OF VEHICLE DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . Because of the absence of atmosphere. there is no problem of aerodynamic heating. the absence of aerodynamic lift and drag necessitates the use of reverse thrust rockets to slow down the vehicle for safe landing. For approach to non-atmospheric planets. 3. Parachutes slow it further down and a small rocket is fired in the final seconds of descent to soften the impact of landing.

air cannot flow out of the way on rushing spacecraft fast enough. From speed of 8 Km/s to energy per mass of 31. They are: i.E is converted into heat. while the speed of the vehicle will continuously be reduced by the braking force of the atmosphere. A vehicle approaching the earth or a planetary atmosphere from space or from orbit possesses a large amount of kinetic energy due to its speed and potential energy by virtue of its position. There are two ways in which the total energy is dissipated from the vehicle. By waves unloading major part of the heat on the atmosphere by the shock waves. AERODYNAMICS HEATING The major concern of re-entry is to find a way to survive the aerodynamic heating. it would be more than enough to vaporize the vehicle. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . When the vehicle encounters the atmosphere a shock will from ahead of the nose of the vehicle heating the atmosphere in this region to a very high temperature. These energies have to be dissipated and converted into heat to decelerate the vehicle to zero velocity and altitude. In this manner the vehicle’s K. As the vehicle plunges into deeper and denser atmosphere the vehicle will increasingly be heated by the enveloping layer of incandescent atmosphere. If the entire vehicle’s energy were converted to heat within the vehicle itself.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 13 4.4 MJ/Kg must be dissipated. At high speed associated with re-entering from space. This obstacle was named as the ‘Thermal Barrier’.

b. Insulating plates of quartz fibre glued to skin creates a heat shield that protects against fierce heat. c. Strength of shock wave determines the heat and drag applied directly to the vehicle by air friction. When molecules strike the forward surface they bounce back. the smaller the frictional component introduced into the body. Since the fraction of the total heat load that is transferred is directly proportional to the strength of the shock waves the stronger the shock wave. the entry vehicle is given a blunt shape rather than a streamlined configuration that has been elastic solution to aerodynamic heating at lower speed. A blunt nose produces the strongest shock wave. Radiation cooled shield with a thin metal skin and negligible heat sink capacity may be used. Under intense heat the outer layer of the shield chars melts and vaporizes (Ablation). Slender shape creates weak shock wave and therefore a heavy frictional layer. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . heat developed on each approach is radiated away in the next loop. Another mode of radiating heat is by undergoing multiple passes through the atmosphere. Thus. one or more of the following methods can disperse the heat reaching the vehicle: a. Many of the rebounding particles collide with the oncoming molecules diverting them from the surface and preventing them by heating it by direct impact. Here the sink temperature in radiation equilibrium situation must not exceed the heat capacity of the metal.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 14 ii. The diversion of heat by strong shock waves is the result of molecular interaction in the gas around the vehicle. Blunt has strong shock and little friction. To use a heat shield constructed of inoculated layer of fiberglass and similar materials. Figure shows the shock wave formed fir blunt and streamlined Configurations. To radiate heat away from hot surface of the vehicle. For the reason. Making skin material thick enough to act as a sink.

RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 15 Aerodynamics heating of shuttle. Beryllium alloy. Titanium alloy. Stainless Steel and composite materials.Ease of manufacture modification. The materials usually used for the space vehicle structures are Aluminum alloy.Specific strength 3. 6.Stiffness 4.Stress concentration resistance 5. MATERIAL SELECTION IN DESIGN The prime requirements during the selection of materials is for minimizing the mass which can achieve its goals during the dynamic loading with which it is presented during the testing and launching phases and finally in zero gravity operational environment.Thermal parameters 7. The selection of appropriate material for an application requires knowledge of the way each property can best be used and where each limitation must be recognized. These alloys are probably made on the basis of maximum allowable temperature limit. Ferrous alloy. 1. Selection can encompass the following: 2. Magnesium alloy. Hollow DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING .Fracture and fatigue resistance 6.

The technique by which the primary structure is protected from thermal environment is a radiation cooled outer surface which is backed by a light weight high temperature insulating material. Radiate. i. Ablative cooling materials supported on insulation v. The principal type of systems used depends on either or both of the essential properties. Radiative cooling for high temperature structural materials. Under ordinary conditions the entry system should have multimission capability. Rejection of heat by mass efflux from the surface and or radiation. phase change or chemical change. 1. The main advantages of this scheme are: 1. cooling from the surface of insulating materials supported on relatively cool and convectional structures. Use of vehicle structure as heat sinks iv. 7. Titanium and Aluminum are the three probable candidates for a re-entry vehicle structure. Absorption of the heat by the surface materials by the temperature rise. 2. The outer shield will not ablate under normal conditions and thus keep the structure relatively cooled. Nickel alloy. Honey comb sections may be used to create panels with extremely low weight with very high stiffness. ii. These take the following five forms. The simplest and lightest weight is scheme-C. Transpiration cooling iii. The property of honey comb panel is that the weight per unit moment of inertia is proportional to the thickness of the face times the density of material. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . THERMAL PROTECTION SYSTEM (TPS) Thermal protection system is of considerable importance in system studies.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 16 and reduced section structural members such as tube and beams can exhibit stiffness characteristics compared with solid bars.

the insulation exhibits ablating characteristics and absorbs sufficient amount of heat to protect the structure. The outer surface of this insulating system is a material with good high temperature properties. In this case. In the event of failure. The composite system has been tested with interface up to 1000F with good results. Scheme-C illustrates the ablative insulating system in which the ablative coating melts and vaporizes due to high temperature thus saving the structure from melting. Scheme-D is known as the non-ablative system. the metal is allowed to melt and vaporize and hence this thermal protective system is not reusable. Scheme-B shows transpiration cooling system which consists of a porous structure. The vertical plane and lateral direction can be modulated to limit the flight loads to compensate for non-nominal entry for guiding the vehicle to a restricted recovery area DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING .RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 17 2. Ablative heat shields are often impregnated with carbon fibres. Scheme-A shows the combinations thick skin and radiation cooling in which radiations as well as sandwiches by low density thermal conductive material cooling structure. For high heating rates the ablation principle provides an efficient heat protection method. Among the several heat protection methods the heat sink method employing a high heat capacity metals such as Beryllium Oxide can absorb about 6.3 MJ/Kg without significant erosion. Reasonable TPS candidates such as ceramic tiles used for shuttle orbiter or the ceramic shingle/stand off concept developed for HERMES employ radiation cooling. It is equipped with a fluid supply where the fluid reaches the top of the structural surface by capillary action and thus keeps the surface cool. which provides structural reinforcement and form a char layer that radiates heat. such an error in the entry angle or entry from an aborted flight occurs and results in a slower thermal environment. The outer of the two insulations has somewhat higher values of [PK] but has better higher temperature resistance. The thermal gradient through the outer layer of internal insulation allows the lower insulation to operate with its temperature limits. The outer surface is under with one of the two low density conductivity product [PK] internal insulating materials.

4.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 18 C S wing of the space vehicle. Variation heating in space vehicle DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING .

Landing phases are different for capsule and winged glide vehicles. Initial condition errors at the re-entry interface. which simultaneously has to observe the flight path constraints. VEHICLE GUIDANCE AND LANDING Landing is the final stage of re-entry mission. 2. The early US space capsules used the cushioning of water and splashed down into oceans. 1. Allowable re-entry dispersion. 6. Water landing do not require the high precision of landing area. Re-entry requirements. Inertial component accuracy. The accuracy requirements of the guidance and control system are largely required for re-entry phase of mission. The cross range capability depends on the L/D properties of the vehicle and the angle control. The maximum DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . Initial stable number alignment accuracy. The guidance system requirements for re-entry are a function of the following. it falls freely through air. 5. The oceans are the prime landing areas. 4. 3. most of its speed.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 19 8. In the case of the capsules. The major advantage in the case of winged glide vehicles is the ability to attain the landing site substantially of the orbital plane and to make a horizontal landing. Parachutes slow it further and small rockets are fired in the final seconds of descent to soften the impact of landing. Guidance equation mechanization. By widening both the entry window and the corridor the entry conditions become less stringent and operational flexibility is highly increased.

2. which primarily affect the vehicle. Temperature constraints.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 20 lateral range is a primary mission requirement and dictates vehicle angle. Down range and Cross range requirements to assure successful landing. Entry Vehicle Evolution DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . For landing in nonatmospheric planet reverse thrust rockets are used by the vehicles. Space shuttle uses their wings to glide to runway and land like an airplane. Figure below explains about entry vehicle revolution 6. The three factors influencing the baseline re-entry trajectory profile of winged vehicle are: 1. reuse and reflect specific TPS design. Constraints to guarantee flight stability and system and payload integrity. 3.

CONCLUSION In the design of a practical manned re-entry system. Extremely attractive payload to gross weight ratio of approximately 50% may be obtained in a vehicle of light wing loading if the aerodynamic and structural configurations are properly selected and rolling entry employed. Rolling maneuvers at constant total angle of attack are useful in reducing re-entry decelerations and total heating encountered. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . 4. Re-entry at high total angle of attack provides a reduction in both maximum heating rate and total heating encountered. The first is to bring the entry deceleration down to levels well within the human endurance. A light wing loading combined with rolling entry maneuvers and a relatively blunt stagnation region permits a lightweight thermal protection system. It is possible by suitable choice of configurations to obtain a vehicle with desirable aerodynamic characteristics during entry and good subsonic flying qualities for landing. 3. 2. 1.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 21 9. A method of accomplishing these two goals leads to the following conclusions. 5. it is necessary to accomplish two things. and the second is to limit the maximum heating rate and total heat pulse to less than material limits.


N. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . P.RE ENTRY OF SPACE VEHICLE 23 10. W. AIAA education series (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics). Spacecraft Systems Engineering Peter Fortes cue and John Stoaark. REFRENCES [1].H. LOH. [4]. W. Descent and Landing Technology and Demonstration needs for a European Winged Vehicle. [5]. Han key.L: Re-entry Aerodynamics. Keert: Re-entry.2 & 3. [2]. [3].T: Re-entry and planetary entry physics and technology. Kojro and Takashi ABE: Viscous Shock-Layer Analysis on Hypersonic Flow over Re-entry Capsule. VOL.