Vorticity is best known for expertise in parachute system development. Our capability spans system analysis, design, development and testing.

Case Study: Huygens

Vorticity staff designed, developed and tested the Huygens parachute system: a three-stage parachute system. This included design and development and qualification of the three parachutes, mortar, container and sequencing mechanisms. Vorticity staff conducted the wind tunnel and low altitude drop tests and supported the high altitude SM2 drop test.
The outcome was a successful landing of a probe on Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005.

Parachute Simulation Methodology

Vorticity is at the forefront of understanding of parachute physics and has developed simulation methods to predict inflation, aerodynamic performance, flight dynamics and trajectory prediction.

Parachute Engineering Tool

The Parachute Engineering Tool software developed by Vorticity enables ESA engineers to conduct analyses of parachutes procured from international partners; to perform systems engineering tasks and to consider undertaking European parachute developments for space mission. Vorticity teamed with SCISYS on this project. In addition to developing state of the art parachute engineering analysis tools, Vorticity has pioneered the use of CFD/FSI techniques for parachute analysis in support of Huygens post-flight analysis, NASA Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, and UK Space Agency studies.

Wind Tunnel Testing

Vorticity has long-standing experience of testing parachutes in Wind Tunnels. The team conducted testing of the ExoMars ring slot parachute, the preferred second stage design, at the CNRC ( Conseil National de Recherces du Canada also known as Canadian Research Centre) 9 m x 9 m subsonic wind tunnel.

For the ESA project Supersonic Parachute Research the Vorticity team designed and tested parachutes in the NRC-CNRC 1.5m x 1.5 m supersonic wind tunnel between Mach 1.6 and Mach 2.1.

Vorticity has conducted testing at the NASA Glenn 10ft x 10ft Supersonic wind tunnel and the NASA Ames National Full-Scale Complex (NFAC).

Terrestrial and extra-terrestrial applications

Vorticity has the capability to design parachute systems for terrestrial and extra-terrestrial applications.

Parachute and Aerodynamic Decelerator Case Studies

Cirrus Aircraft – Whole Aircraft Recovery Systems
ESA – Alternative Descent and Landing Systems
ESA – Huygens Descent Control Sub-System (DCSS)
ESA – Subsonic Parachute Trade-Off and Testing
ESA – Aerodynamics of Download Systems: Parachutes
NASA JPL – Mars Science Laboratory Parachute Consultancy
Thales/ESA – ExoMars 2016
Thales/ESA – ExoMars RSP
SCISYS / ESA – Entry and Guided Landing Environment (EAGLE)
SCISYS/ESA – Aerodynamic Design Tool for Parachutes
SSTL / ESA – Venus Entry Probe