Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD)
Science & Technology
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 fabric, coated 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