Aeroelastic Evaluation of the NASA HIAD

The NASA HIAD, shown here, is an inflatable spacecraft that is currently being developed by NASA as a new method for transporting large payloads to the surfaces of planets. An aeroelastic evaluation will characterize any unstable behavior that may occur due to the interaction between the structure and the aerodynamic forces during entry, descent, and landing.

The thermal protection system is the outer shell that protects the inner inflated structure from the high temperatures of atmospheric re-entry. It is composed of multiple layers of various woven fabrics and aerogels. Shell theory is currently being used to model this system.