Expandable Balloon-Type Drag Devices for Mach 10 Flight Regime 630222

The analysis, design, test, and application of a first stage deceleration and stabilization balloon system (Ballute) for recovery of payloads up to Mach 10 between altitudes of 120,000-200,000 ft down to Mach 4 at 70,000 ft are discussed. Techniques of analysis, construction, deployment, and inflation are described; also, the developments of high-temperature materials, fabrication techniques, and results of wind tunnel, functional, environmental, and missile tests.
Tests substantiate the feasibility of expandable structures for positive deceleration and stabilization. The Ballute system provides deceleration and stabilization at speeds and altitudes that are beyond the capabilities of present parachute systems. Its practicality has been established on the basis of reliability, minimum weight and bulk, standard manufacturing techniques, and availability of materials that can withstand high-load levels and high temperatures.


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