Pushing the limits of re-entry technology: an overview of the Efesto-2 project and the advancements in inflatable heat shields
Giuseppe Guidotti, Giuseppe Governale, Nicole Viola, Ingrid Dietleinc, Steffen Callsen, Kevin Bergmann, Junnai Zhai, Roberto Gardi, Barbara Tiseo, Ysolde Prevereaud, Yann Dauvois, Giovanni Gambacciani, Giada Dammaccodownload PDF
Abstract. As space exploration technology advances, the need for reliable re-entry systems becomes increasingly critical. The European Flexible Heat Shields: Advanced TPS Design and Tests for Future In-Orbit Demonstration – 2 (EFESTO-2) project is a Horizon Europe-funded initiative aimed at improving the Technology Readiness Level of Inflatable Heat Shields (IHS), an innovative thermal protection system that can be deployed during re-entry. The project seeks to further advance the work achieved in the EFESTO project, with a focus on expanding investigations into critical aspects of IHS and increasing the confidence level and robustness of the tools and models used in the field. The EFESTO-2 project is built on four pillars, including consolidating the use-case applicability through a business case analysis for a meaningful space application, extending the investigation spectrum of the father project EFESTO to other critical aspects of the IHS field, increasing the confidence level and robustness of tools/models, and consolidating the roadmap to guarantee continuity in presiding the IHS field in Europe among the scientific and industrial community. This paper provides an overview of the EFESTO-2 project’s objectives, achievements, ongoing activities, and planned activities up to completion. The project’s advancements in the fields of thermal protection systems, inflatable heat shields, and technology readiness level are described in detail, highlighting the project’s contributions to the European re-entry technology roadmap. Through this project, the European Space Program aims to push the limits of re-entry technology and reinforce its position as a leader in innovative technology for space exploration. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement No 1010811041.
Re-Entry Technology, Inflatable Heat Shields, Thermal Protection System, Horizon Europe
Published online 11/1/2023, 5 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA
Citation: Giuseppe Guidotti, Giuseppe Governale, Nicole Viola, Ingrid Dietleinc, Steffen Callsen, Kevin Bergmann, Junnai Zhai, Roberto Gardi, Barbara Tiseo, Ysolde Prevereaud, Yann Dauvois, Giovanni Gambacciani, Giada Dammacco, Pushing the limits of re-entry technology: an overview of the Efesto-2 project and the advancements in inflatable heat shields, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 576-580, 2023
The article was published as article 126 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics
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