Headington School – Outreach  11th March 2024

Joe and Juan , two of our systems engineers, presented an overview of interplanetary Entry Descent and Landing to Headington School’s STEM club. Vorticity’s presentation outlined the history of exploration missions to Mars, the technical challenges facing a successful landing on the surface, the essential design of an entry system and described upcoming missions to the red planet.

It was very rewarding to connect with students and share insights about various career paths within engineering. This talk provided a platform to illustrate real-world applications of their studies and an opportunity to engage with insightful questions and discussions.

Alvina, one of the students who attended the talk wrote: “The recent talk by Juan Rodgers and Joseph Lynch from Vorticity, focusing on the challenges of landing probes and spacecraft on Mars, was both enlightening and engaging. What stood out to me were the various tests the parachute had to undergo before being used in the ExoMars mission. They shared fascinating footage of the High Altitude Test and Dynamic Extraction test, showcasing the incredible complexity involved in achieving precise timing and positioning for parachute deployment. I was particularly intrigued by the simulation of the supersonic parachute, which reveals the astonishingly tiny margins for error in ensuring a flawless deployment. This talk has greatly expanded my understanding of aerospace engineering, especially in relation to the essentials of designing, developing, and testing space flight systems. Despite complex rocket science, they explained the information perfectly. I would love to dive deeper into the underlying scientific principles of aerospace engineering. Thank you!”

Vorticity’s Outreach at Magdalen College School

Juan Rodgers and Joseph Lynch, systems engineers, recently delivered an interactive presentation about space technologies and the challenges of landing a probe or spacecraft on Mars to the STEM Journal Club for sixth-form students at Magdalen College School, Oxford.

Juan and Joe’s hands-on knowledge of designing, developing, and testing space flight systems gave the students a unique insight into the complex problems and solutions of landing on Mars, and also to get answers to their questions about the subject.

Vorticity Cambridge Summer Internships

Vorticity is delighted to welcome Negar and Sophie, our summer interns. Aerospace engineering undergraduates from Selwyn college and Homerton college, University of Cambridge, they’re tackling one of our most challenging projects, the design and build of an altitude test chamber.

Vorticity at ADSTC, FAR and IPPW 2022

The past few years saw most international conferences either moved online or cancelled entirely. Fortunately, 2022 travel restrictions loosened enough for Vorticity’s engineers to present at the 26th ADST conference in Toulouse, the 2nd FAR conference in Heilbronn and the 18th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW) in Santa Clara.

Earlier in 2022, Vorticity completed the ExoMars parachute system qualification tests. We were able to share the multi-year development process, describe the design and show videos of the parachute performance. Further information on ExoMars is available on the ESA website.

Vorticity also presented two ongoing ESA-funded technology developments. Vorticity is leading these R&D studies into flexible thermal protection systems (FTPS) and precision electronic-delay parachute reefing cutters. Both technologies could play an important role in future entry, descent and landing missions, on Earth, Mars and the outer planets.

Finally, we reported the results of a parachute inflation wind tunnel study conducted at the University of Cambridge. Vorticity initiated and supported this Master’s engineering project, in which over 100 subscale parachute inflations were conducted.

For more information on all these projects, please see our publications page.

Subscale parachute inflation in University of Cambridge wind tunnel