Title:
Performance Characterization of Supersonic Retropropulsion for Application to High-Mass Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing

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Author(s)
Korzun, Ashley M.
Braun, Robert D.
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Abstract
Prior high-mass Mars EDL systems studies have neglected aerodynamic-propulsive interactions and performance impacts during the supersonic phase of descent. The goal of this investigation is to accurately evaluate the performance of supersonic retropropulsion with increasing vehicle ballistic coefficient across a range of initiation conditions relevant for future high-mass Mars landed systems. Past experimental work has established supersonic retropropulsion trends in static aerodynamics as a function of retropropulsion configuration, freestream conditions, and thrust. From this experimental database, an aerodynamic-propulsive interactions model is created. EDL system performance results are developed with the potential aerodynamic drag preservation included and excluded during this phase of flight for comparison against prior studies. The results of this investigation demonstrate the significance of aerodynamic drag preservation as a function of retropropulsion initiation conditions, characterize mass optimal trajectories utilizing supersonic retropropulsion, and compare propulsion system requirements with existing propulsion systems and systems under development for future exploration missions.
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2009-08
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Paper
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