The seminar is free to attend but registration is required – please email the organizers to receive an invitation

In past Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) missions, deceleration of a spacecraft has been
achieved by means of fixed-geometry rigid heat shields. Their maximum diameter was constrained
by the size of the launcher fairing, and this in turn has restricted the payload mass. Foldable
aeroshells, stowed during launch and deployed before the entry manoeuvre, show potential for
landing heavier payloads on the surface of a planet. In addition, they could be a versatile option for
aerocapture manoeuvres and orbit insertion at the ice giants. In this talk, I will give an overview of
the research on mechanically deployable heat shields that has been carried out at Imperial College
in recent years. The Hypersonic foldable Aeroshell for THermal protection using ORigami
(HATHOR) concept consists of rigid Thermal Protection System (TPS) panels fitted between
retractable ribs for the repeatable deployment of a high precision geometry. The talk will focus on
the aerothermodynamic aspects of the problem, assessed through an in-house developed
engineering model for heat transfer to a complex-geometry heat shield.