European eXPErimental Re-entry Test-bed (EXPERT) is an European Space Agency aerothermodynamics research programme. It was planned that vehicle will be launched on a Russian Volna launch system and will provide knowledge and experience in the design and development of re-entry vehicles. As of 2012, one element in a European Space Agency push to develop vehicles capable of re-entry has been pushed back until at least 2013 as the agency seeks a launch alternative to the Russian submarine-launched Volna rocket which was withdrawn. One of its main goals was to test materials for ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), an unmanned, delta-winged plane scheduled for launch in 2014 aboard ESA’s new Vega small-satellite launcher.
EXPERT Mission Objectives
According to an ESA-ESTEC paper, the EXPERT program has the following goals:
- Enable in-flight data gathering of selected aerothermodynamic phenomena with high accuracy and reliability
- Allow the validation of numerical modeling tools (CFD) and of methodologies for ground-to-flight data extrapolation
- Qualify in-flight classical and advanced measurement techniques
- Conduct extensive post-flight analyses based on in-flight data, pre-flight numerical databases, preflight ground testing activities.
- Space cone to acquire expert data
- ESA re-entry test needs new budget after Russian pull-out
- European Re-entry Capsule Grounded After Russia Withdraws Launch Offer
- European Experimental Re-Entry Testbed EXPERT: Qualification of Payloads for Flight
- European eXPErimental Re-entry Test-bed (EXPERT)
- EXPERT – European experimental re-entry test-bed
- EXPERT: An atmospheric re-entry test-bed
- Development of the re-entry spectrometer RESPECT for the ESA capsule EXPERT