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Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator

The Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project, led by LaRC and which concludes in FY14, focuses on the development and demonstration of hypersonic inflatable aero-shell technologies suitable for an ISS down-mass capability as well as improved Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) performance of future Mars missions. In FY14 the project will focus on the completion of analysis and ground-based testing. The key technologies include flexible Thermal Protective System (TPS) materials for hypersonic entry conditions, attachment and inflatable mechanisms and high-strength, lightweight, inflatable bladder materials capable of withstanding high temperatures.