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Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD)

  • Published
    9th Sep, 2022

ISRO has recently demonstrated a new technology with Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD) that is said to be a game-changer with multiple applications for future missions including to Mars and Venus.


About Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD):

  • IAD is designed and developed by ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
  • It was successfully test-flown in a 'Rohini' sounding rocket from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS).
  • Initially, it was folded and kept inside the payload bay of the rocket.
  • It was later inflated at around 84 km altitude and descended through the atmosphere with the payload part of the sounding rocket.
  • The pneumatic system for inflation was developed by ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).
  • Systematically, the IAD has reduced the velocity of the payload through aerodynamic drag and followed the predicted trajectory.
  • IAD is made from Kevlar fabriccoated with Polychloroprene.
  • Since it is made of fabric, IAD can be packed into a small volume of 15 litres, available in the nosecone of the RH300.
  • When inflated, IAD takes the shape of three concentric toroids with an overall diameter of 1.3m that generates high aerodynamic drag and stability.

New elements being tested in the mission:

Apart from testing IAD, new elements and a host of new methodologies were flight tested successfully, including:

  • Micro Video Imaging System
  • Software Defined Radio Telemetry-Dual Transmitter (SDRT-DTx)
  • Acoustics Processing Unit with mini-IMAS (Indigenous MEMS Acoustic Sensors)
  • New software for wind compensation for TERLS
  • Modified nosecone separation system
  • Modified FLSC separation system for RH300
  • Improved 1s delay detonator for spin rocket separation
  • Thermally conducting and electrically insulating potting compound ATCAP-75-7030
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