Aerodynamic performance of control surfaces on mars airplane balloon experiment two

Masahiro Kanazaki, Kai Tomisawa, Koji Fujita, Akira Oyama, Hiroki Nagai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We redesigned the Mars Airplane Balloon Experiment Two (MABE-2) based on MABE-1 to improve the vehicle's stability and controllability. Following the redesign, the MABE-2 vehicle had a larger horizontal tail volume than that of MABE-1 for improved stability performance. In addition, to further improve the stability and control characteristics, a rectangular planform was employed for the horizontal tail wing; in contrast, MABE-1 had a tapered planform. The vertical tail position of MABE-2 was moved to the end of the horizontal tail wing, because the vertical tail of MABE-1, which was positioned at the mid span of the horizontal tail wing, showed aerodynamic interaction with the horizontal tail wing. In this paper, we discussed the aerodynamic performance of a control surface based on computational fluid dynamics with variation in the deflection angle between the control surface and the horizontal tail (elevator), and we examined the effects of this redesign on longitudinal control characteristics. Numerical investigations confirmed the linear variation in the pitching moment and the aerodynamic force with the changing elevator deflection angle in MABE-2. Surface pressure observations indicated that MABE-2 shows a smooth variation in the pressure distribution with changing elevator deflection angle, while MABE-1 does not. These results demonstrate that the aerodynamic control characteristics of MABE-2 were improved in comparison to those of MABE-1.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fluid Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerodynamic control
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Horizontal tail wing
  • Longitudinal motion
  • Mars airplane balloon experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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