TSAGI completes hypersonic flight mode research of the Federation return vehicle
9 July 2018
Specialists of the Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) completed the research of hypersonic flight modes of the Federation return spacecraft.
Institute scientists tested the spacecraft model at Mach numbers 7, 5 and 10, 5 to define its heat-transfer performance. “We simulated the space vehicle’s entry into the atmosphere,” explained Sergey Drozdov, TsAGI’s High-Speed Aircraft Aerothermodynamics Department, and D.Sc. in Physics & Mathematics. “High-temperature loads (over 2000° c) become operative during the hypersonic flight segment. The spacecraft’s thermal protection shield should withstand the load.”
The obtained data will allow verifying the calculation methods and data on heat transport which were the basic parameters for the thermal protection adoption. The testing results will also help to clarify the impact of the real features of the spacecraft geometry on the heat transfer characteristics. This will help scientists and engineers to design the prospective return spacecraft rationally and reliably.
The study took place in TsAGI’s T-117 wind tunnel at Mach numbers 7, 5-18, 6 with temperature conditions from 630 to 3200°C. No wind tunnel in Europe has similar capabilities.
Federation is a new-generation reusable piloted spacecraft. A firm development contract was awarded to RKK Energia by S.P.Korolev. The spacecraft is intended to carry a crew and suppliers to destinations at and/or beyond low Earth orbit. The spacecraft will send cosmonauts into moon orbit with a plan to place a space station there. Unique technologies are used to create the spacecraft: it will be constructed with advanced composite materials and will have a multiple docking unit. Modern avionics will better deal with the challenges of rendezvous and docking; improve the safety of the crew at orbit insertion and descent to the Earth. Federation will be capable of carrying crews of four into Earth orbit and beyond on missions of up to 30 days. If docked with a space station, it could stay in space up to a year. The total spacecraft weight in flight to the space station will be 14, 4 tones (19 tones when flying to the Moon), the vehicle mass upon return is 9 tones. Federation length is 6, 1 meters.