Accession Number : ADA307571

Title :   The Rotornet: A High-Performance Hypersonic Decelerator for Planetary Entry.

Descriptive Note : Contract rept.,

Corporate Author : ASTRO RESEARCH CORP CARPINTERIA CA

Personal Author(s) : Kyser, A. C.

PDF Url : ADA307571

Report Date : JUN 1965

Pagination or Media Count : 94

Abstract : This report describes the Rotornet, a new type of aerodynamic decelerator proposed for space missions requiring entry into planetary atmospheres. The basic element of the Rotornet is a large, light weight, flexible, filamentary disk which is attached at its center to a hub on the nose of the entry vehicle, and stiffened, during operation, by a high spin rate. This concept makes possible the use of very large surface areas for aerodynamic braking. For such low values the maximum heating rates, even for earth entry at superorbital speeds, are well within the capability of high temperature filamentary structural materials to reject heat by radiation. Since no nonstructural thermal protection material is required, the decelerator weight can be reduced to a few percent of the payload weight. The mechanical and operational characteristics of the Rotornet are discussed, including its behavior in a hypersonic windstream, and its potential performance as a re-entry decelerator. It is shown that for a given set of entry conditions the ratio of rotor mass to payload mass is proportional to disk radius, which, in turn, is proportional to the cube root of the total vehicle mass; for a 10-g ballistic entry from earth orbit, a rotor weight of about 200 lbs is sufficient for a payload of 10,000 lbs. Finally, the possibilities are discussed for future use of the Rotornet as a decelerator for more severe entry missions.

Descriptors :   *ATMOSPHERE ENTRY, *ROTORS, *BRAKING, REENTRY VEHICLES, PAYLOAD, PERFORMANCE(ENGINEERING), PROTECTION, LIGHTWEIGHT, FILAMENTS, SPINNING(MOTION), HYPERSONIC CHARACTERISTICS, SPACE MISSIONS, AERODYNAMICS, DECELERATION, HEAT RESISTANT MATERIALS, PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES.

Subject Categories : Astronautics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE