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Study of Hypersonic Aerodynamic Decelerators Incorporating Lift

Report Number: WADD TR 60-706
Author: Hill, Jaques A. F.
Corporate Author: Massachusetts Institute Of Technology Naval Supersonic Laboratory
Corporate Report Number: Technical Report 446
Laboratory: Aeronautical Accessories Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1961-03
Pages: 213
Contract: AF 33(616)-6474
Project: None Given
Task: 61526
AD Number: AD0253295


An evaluation is presented of the use of lightweight lifting surfaces for the re-entry of earth satellites into the atmosphere. The flight paths considered begin with a pullout to horizontal flight high in the atmosphere. After some deceleration in horizontal flight the vehicle enters a classic equilibrium glide and eventually a subsonic glide to a landing point. The flight path is analyzed in a very general form and the results presented, which include estimates of the temperatures and deceleration rates encountered, are applicable for a very wide range of aerodynamic coefficients and wing loadings.

A general design for an inflatable vehicle is proposed, and results are presented of wind-tunnel tests of 22 variations of the basic configuration; the aerodynamic coefficients measured at M = 7.6 are approximately corrected to flight conditions at 24,000 ft/sec and 295,000 feet. Using these results, the wing loadings required to limit the heating to acceptable values are computed for a range of entry angles.

Finally, rough vehicle weight estimates are presented for a range of payload weights. It is concluded that the kind of vehicle proposed is useful for the re-entry of satellites at entry angles up to about 3°.

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control
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