SHEFEX-I is the first successful German hypersonic atmospheric entry experiment since 1945. Flown in Oct. 2005, it has been established by DLR to demonstrate the feasibility of the aerodynamic sharp-edge configuration concept. Additionally, a facetted ceramic thermal protection system has been tested. In this experiment a flight Mach number of Ma~6 was reached. The next step is foreseen with the flight of SHEFEX-II in 2012 at increased Mach number (Ma ~ 12). The vehicle is a consequent next step in the technology test and demonstration of facetted shapes considering all the experiences and collected flight data obtained during the SHEFEX-I mission.
Image of the onboard camera at apogee, with Sun and Earth being visible in the background; Embedded fig.: facetted fore body before flight
Image of the onboard camera during re-entry showing 2nd stage fins glowing due to heat loads
Temperature distribution on the 2nd stage using CFD (bottom left); Computed field Mach number contours (top right)