A Review of Uncertainty Analysis for Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator Design


The objective of this paper is to provide an uncertainty analysis review of the multidisciplinary response of a Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator configuration for ballistic Mars entry. The uncertainty sources considered in this study are the high-fidelity computational model parameters and the inherent variations in the operating conditions. Efficient uncertainty quantification methods based on stochastic expansions are reviewed and applied to the high-fidelity flowfield, fluid-structure interaction, and flexible thermal protection system modeling of a deformable inflatable decelerator. A global nonlinear sensitivity analysis study of the inflatable decelerator is performed for the high-fidelity hypersonic flowfield and fluid-structure interaction modeling of the inflatable decelerator. The freestream conditions (density and velocity) and the CO2-CO2 collision interaction are shown to be significant contributors to the surface pressure and convective heat flux and are applied to the fluid-structure interaction sensitivity study. Approximately half of flowfield and structural uncertain variables contribute to approximately 90% of the deflection uncertainty, which include the inflatable structure's axial cords, radial straps, inflation pressure, and torus tensile stiffnesses. The uncertainty in the deflection angle is shown to be insignificant in the resulting surface heat flux and pressure uncertainty and was eliminated as a potential source for uncertainty analysis of the flexible thermal protection system response. The uncertainty in the bondline temperature within the flexible thermal protection system varies as much as 125% above the nominal temperature level and exceeds the 400°C temperature limit of the gas barrier layer. The uncertainty in the bondline temperature is primarily driven by the uncertainty in the thermal properties of the insulator and outer fabric layers and the freestream density.

Meeting Name

21st AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Technologies Conference, Hypersonics 2017 (2017: Mar. 6-9, Xiamen, China)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


This work was supported by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship under training project grant no. NNX13AL58H (Serhat Hosder, principal investigator and Karl Edquist, research collaborator).

Keywords and Phrases

Aerodynamic configurations; Aerodynamics; Carbon dioxide; Deceleration; Flow fields; Fluid structure interaction; Heat flux; Heat shielding; Inflatable structures; Sensitivity analysis; Spacecraft; Stochastic systems; Temperature; Thermal insulating materials, Aerodynamic decelerators; Collision interaction; Computational model; Freestream conditions; Nonlinear sensitivity analysis; Thermal Protection System; Uncertain variables; Uncertainty quantifications, Uncertainty analysis

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2017 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2017

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