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Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator Technology


Recently, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully tested the Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD) technology that could aid cost-effective recovery of spent rocket stages and safely land payloads on other planets.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is IAD?
  2. Significance

What is IAD?

  • The IAD is designed, developed and successfully test-flown by ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
  • The IAD was successfully test flown in Rohini-300 (RH300 Mk II) sounding rocket from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station.
  • Rohini sounding rockets are routinely used for flight demonstration of new technologies being developed by ISRO as well as by scientists from India and abroad.
  • The IAD serves to decelerate an object plunging down through the atmosphere.
  • The IAD was initially folded and kept inside the payload bay of the rocket. At around 84 km altitude, the IAD was inflated and it descended through the atmosphere with the payload part of a sounding rocket.
  • The IAD has systematically reduced the velocity of the payload through aerodynamic drag and followed the predicted trajectory.
  • The force on an object that resists its motion through a fluid is called drag. When the fluid is a gas like air, it is called aerodynamic drag or air resistance.
  • The IAD has huge potential in a variety of space applications like recovery of spent stages of rocket, for landing payloads on to Mars or Venus and in making space habitat for human space flight missions.

-Source: The Indian Express

January 2023