European Space Agency

Case Studies:

ESA – ERC Dynamic Stability by Balloon Drop Tests

Vorticity produced three different Earth Return Capsule designs. Two were based on a 45° sphere-cone design similar to the JAXA Hayabusa and the NASA Deep Space 2 probes. The third was a 60° sphere-cone design based on the Huygens probe. All three variants were designed to self-align in the correct […]

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ESA – Supersonic Parachute Research

Vorticity designed a number of small (170 mm to 340 mm) Disk-Gap-Band parachutes which were scaled from the parachutes used successfully on the Huygens lander. These were tested in the NRC 1.5 m Trisonic Wind Tunnel in Ottawa, Canada. The parachutes were tested at Mach numbers between 1.6 and 2.25 […]

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ESA Parachute Engineering Tool

The Parachute Engineering Tool is a software toolbox which provides modules to perform all the common parachute engineering tasks throughout the design process of a space mission (or indeed any system utilising parachutes). All the modules are integrated within a Graphical User Interface which allows them to be run individually […]

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ESA – SUPERMAX

The SUPERMAX mission (Supersonic Parachute Experiment Ride on a MAXUS rocket) was flown successfully on the MAXUS 9 flight which took place on 7th April 2017. A 13.7 kg test vehicle with a diameter of 290 mm was designed to replace the ballast mass which was flown on previous MAXUS […]

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ESA – Airbags for Small Landers: Design

For the Airbag design activity, Vorticity in partnership with TNO-CGG Technologies, Airborne Systems and the University of Leeds, has performed a number of tasks leading to a design and development plan for an airbag system capable of meeting the requirements of the mission. Initial tasks focused on developing and refining […]

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Thales/ESA – ExoMars Probe Aerodynamics and Aerothermal Analysis

Probes of the shapes used for all Mars missions are dynamically unstable at low supersonic and transonic speeds, exhibiting increasing pitch oscillation amplitudes.

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Thales/ESA – ExoMars Parachute

Ensuring a successful parachute system is a vital element of the design of the ExoMars 2016 mission. Vorticity has responsibility for the parachute system performance, oversight of parachute system design and system level testing.

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ESA – Alternative Descent and Landing Systems

Descent and landing are two of the most challenging aspects of placing a probe on the Martian surface. Vorticity primed this study of the design and analysis of descent and landing systems for an ExoMars class lander including parachutes, retro rockets, lateral velocity control rockets and vented airbag system.

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SSTL/ESA – Venus Entry Probe

Vorticity completed a system analysis of a Venus entry probe for the European Space Agency which would deploy a balloon system to analyse the Venusian atmosphere.

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SSTL/ESA – Earth Re-entry Vehicle Demonstrator Pre-Phase A

As part of the Mars Sample Return mission it was necessary to develop an Earth re-entry vehicle demonstrator (EVD) to verify the ability to return samples of Martian soil safely to Earth without risk of microbial contamination of the Earth.

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