Test Results of Rotary-Wing Decelerator Feasibility Studies for Capsule Recovery Applications 630382

The feasibility of using a rotary-wing decelerator for controlled recovery of aerospace vehicles was explored by both theoretical studies and experimental testing.
The analytical studies examined the aerodynamic characteristics of a rotor in axial descent, controlled glide flight, and flared landings. Wind tunnel tests simulating typical re-entry trajectories were performed on the rotary wing system at speeds from Mach 0.5 to 3.0. The results of these tests are compared with theory.
Finally, free-flight drop tests with a remotely controlled rotary-wing test vehicle were performed. These tests demonstrated the feasibility of controlled recovery of payloads with rotary wing decelerators.


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