Vorticity was recently selected to prime a European Space Agency study in the scope of their MREP program to characterise subsonic parachutes for Mars operation. The program will comprise wind tunnel and high and low altitude free flight tests of a range of parachute designs and scales. Both inflation and descent aerodynamics will be analysed. Selected tests will subsequently be matched using CFD/FSI. The first high altitude sub-scale test was successfully carried out in May 2012.
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Space Monkey flew to 36km above Oxfordshire on Friday 4th May 2012 as part of our Subsonic Parachute Test programme for the European Space Agency. He hitched a ride aboard the helium balloon carrying the test parachute aloft. After the balloon burst, Space Monkey parachuted safely back to earth. Space Monkey is a mascot for a local Northamptonshire Secondary School.
The need for an efficient supersonic decelerator arises first for use in aero-braking planetary landers, but may also have other uses such as spacecraft crew escape and aerocapture of orbital planetary probes. Hypercone is a
concept currently under investigation for use in such applications. The paper, Hypercone Inflatable Supersonic Decelerator was authored by: Glen J. Brown, Vertigo, Inc; Chirold Epp, Claude Graves, NASA Johnson Spaceflight Center; Steve Lingard and Matt Darley, Vorticity Ltd; and Keith Jordan, Computational Fluid Dynamics Research Corp.
John Underwood and Sam Overend co-authored this article with Cirrus’ Jay Yeakle Testing of a two-stage reefed 27m polyconical parachute for the Cirrus Jet which was presented at the Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar.