Ballute

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Not to be confused with balut (disambiguation).
Ballute on freefall bombs
Sketch of ballute components

The ballute (a portmanteau combining "balloon" and "parachute") was invented by Goodyear in 1958. It is a parachute braking device optimized for use at high altitudes and high supersonic velocities. The original ballute was a cone-shaped balloon with a toroidal burble fence fitted around its widest point. A burble fence is an inflated toroidal structure on a ballute intended to ensure flow separation.[1] This stabilizes the ballute as it decelerates through different flow regimes (from supersonic to subsonic).

The ballute is either inflated by a gas generator, or by air forced into the structure by ram air inlets.

Ballutes have also been proposed in stacked toroidal and tension cone form factors, in additional to the more standard isotensoid ballute.[2]

Applications[edit]

The ballute has been used as a retarding device for freefall bombs dropped from aircraft.

It was used as part of the escape equipment for the Gemini spacecraft.[3] It has been proposed for use during aerocapture and aerobraking.[4]

Extended designs using inflatable tension cone ballute technology have been proposed for deorbiting NanoSats and recovering low-mass (< 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb)) satellites from low-Earth orbit.[2]

Armadillo Aerospace used a ballute in the testing of its STIG-A rocket in early 2012.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690017080_1969017080.pdf
  2. ^ a b "NanoSat Deorbit and Recovery System (DRS) to Enable New Missions". conference paper. Small Sat 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
  3. ^ http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4203/ch8-4.htm
  4. ^ "Reentry System—CubeSat Recovery System". Andrews Space. 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-24. 
  5. ^ "Armadillo Launches a STIG-A Rocket - Captures Awesome Image of Ballute". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 

External links[edit]