Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD)

The Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project will focus on the development and demonstration of hypersonic inflatable aeroshell technologies suitable for an ISS down-mass capability.

full_0711_hiadThe Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project will focus on the development and demonstration of hypersonic inflatable aeroshell technologies suitable for an ISS down-mass capability. The project will focus on the completion of an IRVE-3 development flight test and other necessary analysis and ground-based testing. The key technologies include flexible TPS materials for hypersonic entry conditions, attachment and inflation mechanism and high-strength, lightweight, inflatable bladder materials capable of withstanding high temperatures.

The HIAD Project is developing a truly crosscutting technology for atmospheric entry. This technology enhances, and potentially enables, a variety of proposed NASA missions to destinations with atmospheres (Mars, Venus, Titan, the gas giants).  This holds true for returning payloads to Earth from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and beyond, such as ISS down mass or sample return capsules. Not only is this technology applicable to robotic vehicles, the technology is envisioned to be scalable to crewed missions (to Mars or Earth return). The HIAD Project is orchestrating a series of ground and flight tests to demonstrate the viability of thermal resilient materials manufactured in robust configurations to withstand the extreme structural and thermal environments experienced during atmospheric entry. Benefits of using the inflatable decelerator design includes mission flexibility provided by the minimal volume and mass requirements to transfer the stowed HIAD to its destination, as well as increased landed mass, accuracy, and altitude in a variety of space applications.

In August 2009, this technology was successfully demonstrated with the flight of the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment II (IRVE-II), launched from Wallops Flight Facility (WFF).  Launch of the next generation HIAD, Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment 3 (IRVE-3), from NASA WFF should occur in the spring of 2012, as a follow-on mission to IRVE-II. IRVE-3 will demonstrate the performance of a Thermal Protection System in environments comparable to what would be used for future planetary missions (peak reentry heat rate above 15 W/cm2), and demonstrate the effectiveness of an offset center-of-gravity to generate lift from a HIAD.  In parallel, a ground test campaign to develop inflatable structure concepts and advanced TPS is underway.

Principal Investigator: Michelle Munk (michelle.m.munk@nasa.gov)

Project Manager: Melinda Cagle (melinda.f.cagle@nasa.gov)

HIAD Heat Shield Material Feels the Burn During Arc Jet Testing

NASA heat shield material that could one day be used on an inflatable aeroshell during atmospheric entry on Mars recently underwent testing at Boeing’s Large Core Arc Tunnel in St. Louis, Missouri. The inflatable aeroshell, using high temperature advanced flexible material systems, will enable atmospheric entry to planetary bodies and the landing of heavy payloads. […]

Child’s Toy Design Could Help Humans Get to Mars

Devising a way to one day land astronauts on Mars is a complex problem and NASA scientists think something as simple as a child’s toy design may help solve the problem. Safely landing a large spacecraft on the Red planet is just one of many engineering challenges the agency faces as it eyes an ambitious […]

First LDSD Test Flight a Success

NASA representatives participated in a media teleconference this morning to discuss the June 28, 2014 near-space test flight of the agency’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), which occurred off the coast of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. A high-altitude balloon launch occurred at 8:45 a.m. HST (11:45 a.m. PDT/2:45 p.m. EDT) […]

Aviation Academy downlink event draws interest of students

HIADS Project Manager Melinda Cagle talks about NASA’s heat shield work to students at the Aviation Academy in Newport News, Va., during a downlink event Jan. 7, 2014.

VIP Day Builds Bridges To NASA Langley

hen Karen Jackson, Virginia’s deputy secretary of technology, visits NASA’s Langley Research Center, there is always a sense of familiarity. Her mom worked at the center for 32 years and Jackson spent much of her childhood in and around Langley. “It’s very exciting to come back in my new role, to help transfer technology to […]

New NASA Space Technology App Educates Users at Hypersonic Speeds

https://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/sep/HQ_12-309_HIAD_APP.html WASHINGTON — Want to try your hand at landing an inflatable spacecraft? All you need is a smart phone, a computer or a tablet. NASA has released a new educational computer Web game based on its Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project. The game can be played on the Internet and Apple and Android […]

Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment-3 (IRVE-3) Launch

On July 23, 2012,  the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment-3 (IRVE-3) successfully launched the HIAD system from a sounding rocket at 7:01 a.m. from the NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.The launch was the third in a series of suborbital flight tests to provide foundational data for NASA’s efforts to develop and integrate HIAD technology […]

Congressional visit to GCD

ame Changing Development Program Director Steve Gaddis and IRVE-3 Project Manager Mary Beth Wusk welcomed 28 congressional staffers from Washington D.C., on Thursday, Aug. 23. Wusk gave an overview of the recent success of the Inflatable Re-Entry Vehicle Experiment 3 (IRVE-3) that launched from NASA’s Wallops Space Flight Facility in July. The IRVE-3 heat shield […]

IRVE-3 Success – Wallops Flight Facility, Saturday, July 21, 2012

Here are several articles/pictures of the launch: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=14483&media_id=149006211&module=homepage http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/24/07/2012/54195/space-nasas-irve-3-completes-inflatable-re-entry-vehicle-experiment.htm http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48287243/ns/technology_and_science-space/ https://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/multimedia/iotw-irve3-launch.html      

Excellent Student Support for the Girl Scout Day at Busch Gardens

This year, NASA Langley Research Center partnered with Busch Gardens to promote engineering and STEM sciences to Girl Scouts in the Tidewater area. Booths were laid out displaying current projects being worked on by NASA. All of the booths had displays with 3D models of airplanes, plastic printers, giant posters, and even goop. The picture […]

Neil Cheatwood, Mary Beth Wusk of the GCD-PO discuss space technology to Aerospace Advisory Council

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/researchernews/rn_AeroAdCouncil.html Aerospace Advisory Council Visits NASA Langley By: Brian Marcolini, LARSS intern The future of aerospace and aviation hinges on two things, political support and funding. The governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council can provide both, and on Tuesday NASA’s Langley Research Center hosted the council’s quarterly meeting at the center. Developed in 2007 after NASA advocacy, the […]





NEW “This Week at NASA” July 16: IRVE-3 Readies for Launch

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IRVE-3 Segment that aired on “This Week at NASA:”



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