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Design Optimization of Aerocapture with Aerodynamic-Environment-Adaptive Variable Geometry Flexible Aeroshell
This paper proposes the concept of aerocapture with aerodynamic-environment-adaptive variable geometry flexible aeroshell that vehicle deploys. The flexible membrane is composed of thin-layer film or textile as its aeroshell in order to solve some problems obstructing realization of aerocapture technique. Multi-objective optimization study is conducted to investigate solutions and derive design guidelines. As a result, solutions which can avoid aerodynamic heating and enlarge the corridor width up to 10% are obtained successfully, so that the effectiveness of this concept can be demonstrated. The deformation-use optimum solution changes its drag coefficient from 1.6 to 1.1, along with the change in dynamic pressure. Moreover, optimization results show that deformation-use solution requires the membrane for which upper temperature limit and strain limit are more than 700 K and 120%, respectively, and elasticity (Young-s modulus) is of order of 106 Pa.
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