Scientific payloads

The Expert vehicle with its launcher adapter

The European eXPErimental Reentry Test-bed (Expert) is a vehicle housing experiments to perform aerothermodynamic (ATD) measurements and to test key reentry technologies. A selection of ATD phenomena that are critical to designing future reentry and transportation space systems, and whose understanding must be improved, will be investigated during the suborbital flight.

Four main scientific disciplines are addressed by the 14 experiments and sensors on board Expert:

  • Surface and gas-phase chemistry
  • Hypersonic flow phenomena
  • Laminar, transitional and turbulent flow
  • High temperature materials

The flight data will be used to validate the design modelling tools and to improve the ground-to-flight extrapolation procedures used during analysis and wind tunnel testing.

The experimental payloads and the advanced sensors for ATD measurement techniques have been developed by European research centres with international reputations in the aerothermodynamic field through conducting theoretical, computational and experimental science.

The results of their flight experiments will supplement and strengthen their ATD research and, via extensive analysis of the data, will reduce design margins and engineering uncertainties.

For more information, contact:

Jan Thoemel
Expert Payload Procurement Engineer
Jan.Thoemel@esa.int

Last update: 26 July 2010

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