Scientists develop magnetic heat shield for spacecraft


27/11/2009

Scientists major space agencies are working to develop a new type of heat shield for spacecraft returning to Earth. A new screen will use superconducting magnets to create a magnetic field strong enough to "beat" of the ship’s hull red-hot plasma is formed during the passage of the dense layers of the atmosphere.

As the spacecraft enter the atmosphere of the Earth at high speeds, due to the friction created by a very high temperature on the surface of the unit casing. Traditional heat shields use temperature-resistant ablative coatings, which are burned in the process of landing, or solid insulating materials such as tiles used in the casing of the shuttle. If the new magnetic shielding to be effective, it will help ease the weight of the ship, to increase the safety of returning to Earth, and to give up the expensive disposable heat-resistant materials, as magnetic protection can be used repeatedly.

Working together on a project ESA (the European Space Agency, ESA), the European aerospace division of EADS Astrium and the German Aerospace Center (German Aerospace Center, DLR, Deutschen Zentrums for Luft-und Raumfahrt). The idea is to use a superconducting coil in the bow hook which creates a strong magnetic field in front of the vehicle.

Scientists are currently evaluating the work of the superconducting coil, and still have not decided exactly how to set it up in the Russian rescue capsule "shuttlecock" for the test.

It is also unknown what amendments would be needed to calculate the trajectory reentry vehicle due to the reflected air flow. Receiving telemetry data will also be difficult as a cloud of ionized gas, which will be formed around the shuttle, will block radio signals.

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