RX23 – DAEDALUS (Research of an Atmospheric Reentry of a Glider)

JMU Würzburg, Germany

Launch Date: TBD 2018

Daedalus’ goal is to build and successfully test an alternative form of a descent mechanism for drops from very high altitudes. Since parachutes are not always useable there have to be new and innovative ways to descent through an atmosphere without using any propellant at all. Inspired by the bionic design of the maple seed, which gently falls to the ground due to its ingenious natural design, Daedalus builds a “SpaceSeed” which is applying the same idea of a gentle descent for aerospace mission.The range of applicationsfor the “SpaceSeed” are numerous, for example could designs like this also have a terrestric use like weather probes which would be able to withstand harsher winds then a parachute could. This design is directly usable for turbulent atmospheres like on Venus or even Jupiter. Also sample returns from LEO could be actualised with similar designs, again removing the challenges one would face with a parachute or an actively propelled landing system. Daedalus wants to prove that this alternative is usable for real life applications on Earth and other planets, too.


RX19 – MIRKA2-RX  (MIkro-RückkehrKApsel 2 – REXUS)

Universität Stuttgart, Germany

Launch Date: 17 March 2016

The REXUS experiment MIRKA2-RX (Micro Return Capsule 2 – REXUS) by the small satellite student group at University Stuttgart (KSat e.V.) is going to examine the aerodynamic stability and general functionality of a micro return capsule and its separation mechanism, with which it is to be ejected at the apogee of the rocket. This process will be monitored with video cameras. After separation the capsule will communicate to the ground station via a commercial satellite service, transmitting data about its position, attitude, pressure and other relevant parameters. The data will also be stored on an SD-card in case the capsule is retrieved. The unique characteristic of this experiment is the size of the capsule, which measures only about 10 x 10 x 10 cm, wherein all the sensors and electronics need to be accommodated. This requirement is set by the wish to use the capsule in a Cubesat project called CAPE (Cubesat Atmospheric Probe for Education) by the Institute of Space systems at the University of Stuttgart. There, the capsule will experience a controlled re-entry with the help of a powered three-unit Cubesat in order to gain data about the behaviour of the ablative heat shield material. Therefore the MIRKA2-RX experiment, besides the possibility for students to engage in a space program from the beginning to the end, acquires scientific and technical data for its follow-up project.


RX09 – REMOS (REcession MOnitoring System)

University of Stuttgart, Germany

Launch Date: 22 February 2011

The goal of the REMOS project was to develop a system enabling in-situ measurements of ablative heat-shield regression rates, by monitoring the materials electrical properties during re-entry. Ablative cooling is a popular means of thermal protection, and usually consists of ceramic or carbon phenolic materials which char, melt and sublimate through the process of pyrolysis; subsequently diverting the excessive heat loads of re-entry away from the spacecrafts sensitive payload and subsystems. During the free-fall phase of the REXUS flight, REMOS deployed a probe consisting of ablator material which was exposed to the re-entry flow. Its thermally induced recession was then monitored using electrical and optical systems. As the probe material is ablated, the electrical properties of the sensors are altered, thus indicating how much of the heat-shield is lost. The collected data was verified using visual data collected via two autonomous video cameras. It was hoped that the results of this study could be used to optimise future ablative shield design processes.

REMOS Conference Paper



RX08 – LAPLander (Light Airbag Protected Lander)

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Launch Date: 4 March 2010

The objective of the LAPLander experiment was to design, build and validate a prototype of an inflatable re-entry system for recoverable scientific payloads. For high altitude atmospheric research, multi-point measurements are often collected by ejecting recoverable payloads from sounding rockets. Storing data onboard these sub-payloads removes the radio link bandwidth limitations and allows storage of large quantities of data, with the system being scalable with the number of sub-payloads. The LAPLander was optimized in terms of size and mass, and measured ~24 cm in diameter, 8.4 cm in height and 3 kg of mass. As no standard off-the-shelf recovery system exists for such a small, fast-spinning payload, the LAPLander made use an inflatable structure both to decelerate the fall, and to serve as protection at the moment of impact. To assess the re-entry systems performance the experiment was equipped with sensors for in-flight diagnostics, with a redundant radio-beacon and satellite transmitter for post flight recovery. To demonstrate the systems applicability for future ionospheric research, the payload also contained a miniaturised SMILE magnetometer and 4 dummy boom deployment units for an E-field instrument.

LAPLander Conference Paper