On the 18th and 19th of December, the DARE recovery team performed the fourth wind tunnel campaign. The experiments, performed in the Open Jet Facility in Delft, were done to test several new parachute designs and to validate the Stratos III recovery system. Besides our own designs we were visited by Mads Stenfatt from Copenhagen Suborbitals.
The new designs, that were tested, were the Supersonic-X and an elliptical parachute. The Supersonic-X parachute is a drogue parachute that is easier to produce than the Hemisflo, our current drogue parachute, and is in theory capable of handling higher Mach numbers. However, the parachute proved to be somewhat unstable, most likely due to the small production scale. Therefore, more tests will be performed in the future to validate the parachute design. The elliptical parachute was tested, as literature suggested it had a higher drag coefficient than the cross parachute, our current main parachute for Aether. Unfortunately, we are still experimenting with the design and it turned out to be quite unstable.
Copenhagen Suborbitals tested their Ringsail parachute in different reefing stages together with various Ballute designs. The ballute is a combination of a balloon and a parachute. This design can operate at very high Mach numbers and therefore makes an ideal drogue parachute. As the Copenhagen Suborbitals capsule lands, a cluster of three Ringsail parachutes is deployed for a safe landing.
Written by: Lars Pepermans.