According to Langley test engineer Sean Hancock, HIAD was packed the same way each time to see how the material would handle folding, packing, and compressing.
After successful testing, NASA engineers can move forward in the development of creating a larger HIAD that can withstand the stress of being tightly packed in a rocket and the high temperatures experienced when it descends through the atmosphere of a planet such as Mars.
Concepts may employ new approaches such as shape morphing and pneumatic actuation to dynamically alter the HIAD inflatable structure.
NASA is currently developing and flight testing HIADs -- a new class of relatively lightweight deployable aeroshells that could safely deliver more than 22 tons to the surface of Mars," said Steve Gaddis, GCD manager at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
The video includes both final compression and torsion buckle testing of the HIAD
in NASA Armstrong's Flight Loads Lab and comments about the development and loads testing from project officials.
It's part of a project called HIAD
for Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator -- within NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist's Game Changing Development (GCD) Program.