EDM thermal protection system tests
The ExoMars entry, descent and landing demonstrator module (EDM), named Schiaparelli, will land on Mars on 19 October 2016. This is during a period when there might be dust storms on the Red Planet.
As part of the preparations for the ExoMars 2016 mission, tests were performed at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) hypersonic wind tunnel (H2K) facility to quantify the effect of dust erosion on the front shield of Schiaparelli.
This picture, taken during the test in mid-2010, shows the wind tunnel nozzle exit (left), the Thermal Protection System (TPS) test sample (right) and dust particles impacting the sample and then bouncing away from it. Similar tests were performed with and without dust particles, and the thickness of the TPS was measured after each test to quantify the effect of dust on the performance of the heat shield.