ISS Update Commentator Pat Ryan talks with Dr. William Ailor, Principal Investigator for the ReEntry Breakup Recorder (REBR) for The Aerospace Corporation. Ailor talks about capturing data as Europe's ATV-3 cargo craft re-enters the Earth's atmosphere for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean. Experts want to predict the destructive effects of a spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere for safety and cost reasons.
REBR, which is a device similar to a cell phone inside a heat shield, will be exposed to the fiery re-entry and record a variety of data such as acceleration, pressure and temperature. REBR will make an Iridium telephone call to transmit the data after it is thrown clear of the disintegrating spacecraft. The REBR is designed to survive re-entry but not impact.
REBR has previously been used on three other cargo craft. Data was successfully captured from the atmospheric re-entry of Japan's HTV-2 and HTV-3 vehicles. During an ATV-2 re-entry experiment the REBR did not capture data. Engineers are exploring whether it was the design of the REBR, its placement in the ATV-2 or the violent nature of the re-entry itself.