The design of an efficient Thermal Protection System (TPS) remains one of the most challenging tasks of planetary exploration missions. Because of the harshness of re-entry environments, no ground facility can exactly replicate all of these conditions. Consequently, engineers must rely on numerical models design TPS. To provide inexpensive flight validations for these model, the Kentucky Re-entry Universal Payload System (KRUPS) spacecraft has been developed at the University of Kentucky. As a technology maturation step, two KRUPS spacecraft were ejected from two separate sounding rockets at high altitudes. The capsules were instrumented so that the thermal behavior of the heat shield would be monitor during re-entry. For the first mission, KUDOS, a sub-scale capsule was launched on August 13th, 2017. KUDOS raised the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from TRL 4 to TRL 5 by validating multiple sub-systems in a relevant environment. The second flight, KOREVET, was launched March 25th, 2018, and maintained the TRL 5 status, but the capsule was, this time, full-scale.
|State||Published - Jun 25 2018|
|Event||12th AIAA/ASME Joint Thermophysics and Heat Transfer Conference, 2018 - [state] GA, United States|
Duration: Jun 25 2018 → Jun 29 2018
|Conference||12th AIAA/ASME Joint Thermophysics and Heat Transfer Conference, 2018|
|Period||6/25/18 → 6/29/18|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support for this work was provided by the Kentucky EPSCoR and NASA Award NNX13AN04A, NASA Kentucky Space Grant NNX15AR69H, and NASA USIP SFRO NNX16AI90A. The authors would like to thank F. Taylor, J. Owen, A. Kerr, J. Lumpp, J. Cooper, C. Meek and O. Schroeder of the University of Kentucky for their help with this project. The authors are also immensely thankful to S. Wade at Yokohama, who graciously facilitated the vibration testing for both sub-orbital flights.
© 2018 by James Devin Sparks. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics