TsAGI completes the work cycle within the framework of the Russian-European program on the exploration of the planet Mars
10 August 2015
Test the landing module of the ExoMars project
At the end of July the Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute named after N.E. Zhukovsky (TsAGI) completed the test cycle for the Decent Module DM-18 model. The works were conducted in TsAGI’s hypersonic wind tunnel within the framework of the International Mars Exploration Program — ExoMars-2018*. Within this project Russia develops a descent module, which is designed to transport a European Mars rover and a suite of Russian scientific instruments to the surface of the fourth planet from the Sun.
The lead developer of a descent module is FSUE “NPO named after S.A. Lavochkin”. TsAGI is responsible for the tasks related to the design-experimental support for the DM-18 development. These tasks include aerodynamic tests of the module model, design calculations of its flow and heat transfer parameters in wind tunnels and full-scale flight conditions, as well as the prediction of full-scale performance of the DM-18.
The completed work cycle included aerodynamic and thermal tests. TsAGI specialists tested the descent module model in several hypersonic modes; at various Mach numbers corresponding to the flight conditions. “The complex of experimental and theoretical studies of the DM-18 is extremely essential for us because it was carried out taking into account the conditions of another planet. So, we obtained unique data on flight aerothermodynamic and mechanic characteristics of the spacecraft, which will land on the surface of Mars, whose atmosphere is significantly different from that of Earth,” explained Sergei Drozdov, the Head of TsAGI’s Department of Aerodynamics and Flight Dynamics Complex.
FSUE “NPO named after S.A. Lavochkin” and TsAGI will continue joint study of the descent module characteristics.
*ExoMars is a joint program of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (Roscosmos) aimed at the exploration of Mars. Targets of the program: search for possible life on mars, geochemical and water distribution characteristics on the surface, environmental studies, identification of hazards for future manned missions to Mars, and exploration of the interior part of the planet. The program involves launching the orbit probe for Mars exploration, as well as landing the descent module on Mars’ surface in 2016. The Mars rover is planned to be sent to Mars in 2018. TsAGI has participated in the research since 2008.