On June 27, 2019, NASA announced Dragonfly’s selection as the next solar system exploration mission of the New Frontiers program. The team is led by APL with involvement of several NASA centers and other partners. The mission is an MMRTG-powered rotorcraft lander that will launch in 2026 and arrive at Saturn's moon Titan in 2034 for approximately 3 years of exploration of the habitability of Titan's environment and the chemical composition of its surface materials.
During the high-speed phase of the entry flight into Titan’s atmosphere, the vehicle is exposed to high aerothermal loads with a significant portion of radiative heating. Radiative heat fluxes are difficult to predict but are expected to comprise up to 20% of the total heat flux on the front surface and dominate the back cover heating.
Based on the successful flight of the Exomars 2016 instrumentation package COMARS+, NASA formed a team including the DLR for the Engineering Science Investigation (ESI) for instrumentation of the entry capsule of the Dragonfly mission. DLR will be supplying COMARS sensors and the complete ESI (Engineering Science Instrumentation) data acquisition system. The Supersonic and Hypersonic Technologies Department of the DLR-Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology is responsible for the development, implementation and in-flight operation of the sensor system. The management of the TITENT project is also the responsibilities of the institute.