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Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD)

hiad test model being prepared for wind tunnel testingImage credit: NASA Ames The Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) design uses an inflatable, flexible thermal protection system (TPS) structure upon entry into an atmosphere. The development of this technology is to enable high-mass robotic and human exploration missions. The Entry Systems and Technology (TS) Division has worked in conjunction with researchers from Langley Research Center to support different test configurations for HIAD. TPS materials characterization and modeling for HIAD have been performed within TS, as well as the characterization of the vehicle's pyrocity. The TS division at Ames has also been responsible for wind tunnel testing HIAD configurations, and the characterization and development of instrumentation to measure entry temperatures and conditions. Currently, a pyromaterial gel is being developed to act as an insulative layer of the spacecraft's TPS, and testing of this gel is ongoing to determine its thermochemical variability at high temperatures.

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Page Last Updated: August 19th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator