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IRENA Report Summary

Project ID: 640277
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IRENA (International Re-Entry demoNstrator Action)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In January 2014, the ISEF participants insisted on the importance of “fostering international cooperation for additional space exploration projects”. The partners of IRENA (International Re-Entry demoNstrator Action), including major space agencies involved in ISEF and ISECG, are convinced of the need for demonstrators in atmosphere entry/re-entry and of the potential for international cooperation in this area.
IRENA mainly aimed at:
• creating a cluster of European and international stakeholders to study two types of demonstrators aimed at developing entry/re-entry technologies and suitable for other enabling technologies
• jointly defining two technology demonstrator projects relevant for international cooperation
• contributing to a European position for ISEF and
• disseminating the results and preparing the next steps.
To achieve these objectives, IRENA built upon an international and complementary team: four major European and international space agencies (CNES, DLR, JAXA as well as NASA as an observer), the two European industry leaders in entry/re-entry and space exploration (Airbus Defence and Space, Thales Alenia Space) and a research institute expert in dissemination and exploitation (Demokritos). IRENA relied on a cooperative approach to jointly define the projects, for the feasibility and cost assessment studies and for the implementation assessment studies (governance, funding, international cooperation). Four workshops including one in Japan and one based on Concurrent Engineering were organised to support the work and disseminate the results of the project.
IRENA’s objectives have been chosen to explicitly meet the main work programme's requirements i.e. to be in line with ISEF recommendations, to involve international countries active in space exploration, to create a cluster around several demonstrator projects, to define these projects and discuss how to build them, to target enabling technologies and to include workshops and information events.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report
This report covers the period from the beginning of the project (January 2015) until the end (April 2016). Therefore, the report covers every task from WP1, WP2, WP3 and WP4.

Main results
• Common demonstration needs for entry/re-entry technologies between Europe, Japan and the USA were identified
• Four technology demonstrators were selected and studied for their technical feasibility and cost:
3 flight demonstrators: The “Aerodynamic Decelerator Demonstrator”, the “Earth Aerocapture Demonstrator” & the “Mars Aerocapture Demonstrator”
1 ground demonstrator: The “Adaptive and Versatile Front shield Test bed”
• Two technology demonstration projects were defined including a roadmap:
The “Aerodynamic Decelerator Demonstrator” project
The “Earth Aerocapture Demonstrator” project
• Creation of a cluster of international stakeholders willing to implement the two demonstration projects
• Dissemination of the project outcomes to the ISECG members (esp. ESA, NASA, JAXA, CNES and DLR), the EC DG Grow Policy and Space Research unit and the research community
• Four workshops organised including one in Japan, two Concurrent Engineering sessions and generally associated with an Open Session for dissemination purposes.
• Presentation at more than ten major space events
• A website:
• A joint proposal to ESA and NASA for a demonstrator on the first Orion SLS flight in 2018

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state of the art
• Common demonstration needs for entry/re-entry technologies between Europe, Japan and the USA have been identified
• New demonstrators were defined and assessed (e.g. “Aerodynamic Decelerator Demonstrator”)
• Collaborative projects on entry/re-entry technologies between Europe, Japan and the USA have been defined

Expected potential impact
IRENA is expected to lead to the implementation of the two projects in the frame of an international cooperation through EC’s Horizon 2020 2018-2020 work programme or ESA’s M2 new programme candidate for the exploration of Mars and the Moon.

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