ESA's future launcher programme demonstrators

By Rob Coppinger

Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle: The IXV project started in 2005 to test re-entry technologies including thermal protection systems, guidance, navigation and hot structures for a late 2012 in-flight demonstration. Launched by ESA's new Vega rocket, IXV will use about 600 sensors and reach a 450km (279 miles) altitude before returning at 26,850km/h (16,700mph), equivalent to re-entry from low-Earth orbit. ESA could use the IXV for a safety and reliability framework for future re-entry vehicles.

Cryogenic Upper Stage Technologies (CUST): is to intended to mature technologies through ground tests and in-flight experiments for expander cycle engines. An expander cycle uses vaporised fuel to drive a turbine to increase the incoming propellant pressure. The work will also involve development of ESA's re-ignitable cryogenic expander cycle engine known as Vinci.

High Thrust Engine (HTE): will develop staged combustion for both liquid hydrogen and liquid methane fuels. Staged combustion injects the gas driving the turbomachinery into the combustion chamber to improve performance. Staged combustion can deliver very high specific impulse.

Solid Propulsion: will design, manufacturing and testing of a "flexible demonstrator platform" to facilitate different propellant types for hot firings is the objective of this project. It would also enable the pressure oscillation phenomenon to be investigated. Hybrid propulsion will also be examined.

◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented