Recoverable thermal materials testbed

RED Phoenix

Need a flight test solution for evaluating thermal protection materials and hot structures at hypersonic speeds?

SpaceWorks’ RED-Phoenix is a recoverable flight testbed designed to conduct testing of advanced leading edge materials, nose caps, sensor windows, and fins at relevant flight conditions. Our goal is to work with the R&D community to help raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of these advanced TPS materials and thermal structures to TRL 6.  

RED-Phoenix requires a separate booster, but is designed to be compatible with several low cost booster options. It flies a ballistic trajectory and uses a built-in supersonic decelerator and a subsonic parachute for recovery.

  • Recoverable hypersonic testbed for thermal materials R&D
  • Unpowered, ballistic trajectory
  • Compatible with several low-cost booster options
  • Gross mass < 30 kg
  • Replicates reentry, hypersonic cruise, and/or terminal phase trajectory segments
  • Capable of nose heating conditions > 1000 W/cm2
  • On-board data collection and data storage system (recoverable)
  • Initial funding from the US Air Force (AFWERX SBIR)
  • Conceptual design complete