ISRO tests IAD technology that can be used for Mars, Venus missions

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New technology with an Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD) was successfully demonstrated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Saturday, which said it was a game-changer with multiple applications for future missions, including to Mars and Venus, according to the PTI news agency.

Designed and developed by ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), an IAD has been successfully tested in a “Rohini” sounding rocket from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station (TERLS).

Initially, it was folded and kept inside the rocket’s payload bay, according to ISRO, which is headquartered in Bengaluru. It was then inflated to about 84 km altitude and descended into the atmosphere with the payload from the sounding rocket. The pneumatic inflation system was developed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC), he said, as quoted by PTI.

Systematically, the IAD reduced the speed of the payload through aerodynamic drag and followed the planned trajectory.

In an official statement, the space agency said this is the first time an IAD has been designed specifically for depleted stage recovery and that all mission objectives have been successfully demonstrated.

“It (IAD) has enormous potential in a variety of space applications such as salvaging spent rocket stages, for landing payloads on Mars or Venus and in creating a space habitat for space missions. manned spaceflight,” the agency added.

Rohini sounding rockets are used regularly for the flight demonstration of new technologies developed by ISRO as well as by Indian and foreign scientists.

ISRO further reported that new IAD items, such as a micro-video imaging system that captured IAD flowering and flight, a miniature software-defined radio telemetry transmitter, an acoustic sensor based on MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) and a multitude of new methodologies were tested in flight. successfully on Saturday’s flight.

Sounding rockets are also said to provide an exciting platform for experimentation in the upper atmosphere that will later be introduced in major missions.

S Somanath, ISRO President who attended the launch, said: “This demonstration opens a doorway to cost-effective salvage of the worn stage using Inflatable Aerodynamics Decelerator technology and this IAD technology can also be used in future ISRO missions to Venus and Mars.”

(With PTI inputs)

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