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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 937629, 18 pages
Review Article

Survey of European and Major ISC Facilities for Supporting Mars and Sample Return Mission Aerothermodynamics and Tests Required for Thermal Protection System and Dynamic Stability

1Ingénierie et Systèmes Avancés, 16 avenue Pey Berland, 33600 Pessac, France
2Fluid Gravity Engineering Ltd., Emsworth PO10 7DX, UK

Received 6 December 2010; Revised 13 April 2011; Accepted 19 May 2011

Academic Editor: C. B. Allen

Copyright © 2011 Mathilde Bugel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the frame of future sample return missions to Mars, asteroids, and comets, investigated by the European Space Agency, a review of the actual aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics capabilities in Europe for Mars entry of large vehicles and high-speed Earth reentry of sample return capsule has been undertaken. Additionally, capabilities in Canada and Australia for the assessment of dynamic stability, as well as major facilities for hypersonic flows available in ISC, have been included. This paper provides an overview of European current capabilities for aerothermodynamics and testing of thermal protection systems. This assessment has allowed the identification of the needs in new facilities or upgrade of existing ground tests for covering experimentally Mars entries and Earth high-speed reentries as far as aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, and thermal protection system testing are concerned.