Investigation of the characteristics of 6-foot drogue-stabilization ribbon parachutes at high altitudes and low supersonic speeds
Performance data are presented for two types of ribbon parachutes. The parachutes were forcibly deployed from an air-launched test vehicle at altitudes from 55,000 feet to 70,000 feet and at Mach numbers between 0.92 and 1.52. Opening shock, steady-state drag performance, and canopy-porosity effects are evaluated with respect to Mach number and dynamic pressure. The conical canopy design appears to function far better than the flat canopy at supersonic deployment speeds. The relatively high-porosity conical design improves the parachute stability, with the added benefit of a low opening shock. The drag efficiency of the conical canopy is equivalent to that of the flat canopy having 50-percent-lower porosity. Riser elasticity and length also appear to be important parameters affecting the parachute stability. Reducing the weight of the test vehicle by a factor of one-third had a negligible effect on the stability and drag characteristics of the parachute.
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