Sub-Scale high altitude drop tests conducted by Vorticity Ltd and ESA for ExoMarch

A small delegation from Vorticity Ltd and ESA is now at Esrange Space Center to perform parachute tests in preparation for the future ERC and HADT projects.

The SHADT campaign is conducted with small balloons carrying the parachute test vehicles.
Each balloon flight test is performed with three test vehicles which at a predestined altitudes separates in sequence from the balloon flight system, and then free falls up to a speed of mach 0.8 before parachute deployment.

The test vehicles are retrieved and brought back to Esrange for refurbishment, where the used parachutes are installed in to new test vehicles and then re-flown at the next launch opportunity.

The SHADT vehicles are required to impact at the Esrange safety zone due to the nature of the parachute tests.
This season of year that implicates that the balloon launches has to be carried out outside Esrange, and more specifically a quite large distance to the west of Esrange, so the balloon flight trajectory will bring the vehicles in to the Esrange safety zone before separation. A mobile balloon mission campaign of this kind has never been performed before by SSC, so if we succeed some new ground would truly be broken.

Preparation of the test vehicles and balloon flight systems are ready so the campaign organisation is eager for the first launch opportunity.
A short test flight from Esrange will follow tomorrow. Weather and trajectory predictions indicates that Thursday seems promising as the first launch opportunity.

General information SHADT

Launch site Kiruna area
Launch date October 15, 2014
Mass/kg 17 kg
Balloon size 4100 m3
Height Flight termination
 at 30 km

Contact persons

Mr Niklas Johansson, Project manager SSC,
John Underwood, Vorticity Ltd


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