NASA Engineering Design Challenges
An Educator Workshop
By E. Dynae Fullwood & John F. Weis
from the
Aerospace Education Service Project
http://aesp.psu.edu/
Thermal Protection Systems
Educator Guide
Offers Connections To:
Background Information
The ARES Launch Vehicles
(show clip)
Background Information
Heat and Heat Transfer
A form of energy that flows from
a hotter place (heat source)
to a cooler place (heat sink).
Background Information
Heat and Heat Transfer
CONDUCTION:
When heat flows through a solid substance.
CONVECTION:
When heat flows through a liquid or gas.
RADIATION:
When heat flows through empty space or a transparent medium.
Background Information
Thermal Protection Systems
Sources of Heat
on Spacecraft
• Atmospheric Friction
• Engine Exhaust
• Hot Particles
Background Information
Thermal Protection Systems
Types of TPS
Satellites are
protected with thermal
blankets.
Early Spacecraft used
Ablative Heat Shields
Background Information
Thermal Protection Systems
Types of TPS
The Shuttle uses
RCC, Tiles,
Foam and Felt
Blankets.
Background Information
Thermal Protection Systems
Types of TPS
Insulating foam will be
used on the ARES
launch vehicles
The crew capsule will
also use an Ablative
Heat Shield
Before TPS
After TPS
The Design Process
The Design Challenge
The Challenge: Build a TPS, using the specified materials,
that protect the model for the longest possible time.
Design Constraints:
• Use only the specified
materials to construct the TPS.
• No glue may be used in the
TPS itself.
• No part of the TPS may touch
the dowel.
• No part of the TPS may touch
the glue.