Author Topic: European new micro launchers  (Read 10103 times)

Offline bolun

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European new micro launchers
« on: 09/15/2015 12:40 PM »
According to this news, Arianespace is studying to add a new launcher to its launcher family.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-feature-story/2015/9-14-2015-WSBR.asp

Quote
Israël also addressed Arianespace’s ability to accommodate satellite constellations of the future, many of which are envisioned to involve large numbers of very small-sized (“micro”) spacecraft.  He said a “micro launcher” – capable of deploying constellation payloads of approximately 300 kg. to low Earth orbits – could be of interest as a potential addition to the company’s launch vehicle portfolio.

“We are ready to listen to the market as concepts for such constellations take shape, and Arianespace is open to discussions on possible launch services solutions complementary to our launcher family,” Israël concluded.  “The space sector has a role to play in meeting demands of increased connectivity for those already connected, and to connect those who currently do not have access.”

I wonder if "Mini Vega" would be an option.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1071.msg1382578#msg1382578

Edit: Thread title changed on request by Rik ISS-fan.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 09:05 AM by bolun »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #1 on: 09/15/2015 03:11 PM »
I posted that before AirbusSafranLaunchers came up Adeline concept. Now I prefer Adaline above a mini Vega, because the Z40 is designed as a second stage. It is a good backup.
I think Adeline is the first one Arianespace looks at.

With the 420kN reusable Romeo LOx-CH4 engine (DLR ACE-42R), a T/W at liftoff of 1,2, MTOW will be 35ton (350kN). The Adeline first stage has a MTOW of 23ton, so 12 ton left for a second (/third) stage and payload. Most likely the upper-stage of Vega C or E can be used. (Z9A (or successor used to prove Z40) and AVUM+ is 11ton if i'm not mistaken [Vega-C], and the VUS will also be around 10 ton.

Next to this CNES has been studying small launchers for a couple of years with the Perseus project.
They have a concept (MLA) for a two stage system air-launched from a fighter-jet (Raffael, Eurofighter or Grippen), it can do 50-75kg without boosters and 300kg with two boosters.
And CNES together with Onora are developing DEDALUS an UAV launcher two/three stage rocket that can deliver 10kg to LEO upgradable to 50kg.

Also Nammo developed hybrid rocket engine's for the FLPP-program, they will use this engine for the North Star rocket family (two sound-rockets and a (10kg) nano-satellite launcher). Possibly Arianespace is interested in offering the North Star as well.

So that's at least five options I read about and there are a lot more.
I'm convinced Arianespace/ or another european company will offer micro-launchers when the micro-launch market becomes a success. I think Adeline and North Star are the most likely.
Adeline as testbed for proving and maturing technology for the Ariane-family (they are already talking about A6E). And North Star because they can use the system developed as sounding rocket to deploy nano-satellites.
Very interesting topic for NSF. 
 

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #2 on: 04/07/2016 02:10 PM »
I think Europe will end up with about six or seven orbital launch vehicles.
Looooots is going on in the back ground. little spoiler: NLR  :)
I'll wait for info becoming public before I start speculating.

I can write some thing about European micro launcher history.
At the start of the space race three launchers were developed that now are classified as micro launch vehicles:
the UK with Black Arrow, France with Diamant and Europe (UK, France & Germany) with Europa. After these came Ariane 1 also a micro launch vehicle (France, Germany and Italy).

In 2007 the Aldebaran study was started lead by CNES (france). In 2010 the program was terminated because the micro satellite market was to small to pay back the development. They reasoned that the micro satellites could launch on Rideshare basis on Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega. They also expected that the micro satellite market would not develop because there was no micro launcher available.
This assumption has proved to be wrong. Many micro satellite buses have been developed in Europe. And the available micro and small launch vehicles (Dnepr; Strela; Rockot) are no longer available / politically unattractive.
As example I would point out the QB-50 (40 2U and 10 3U cubesat) program with still is awaiting for launch. Most of them will be deployed via Nanoracks ISS deployment. But also two Dnepr launches are planned for this year, the question is if they will launch.

In 2012 I thought a lot of rocket development was ended because the FLPP program was cut back (no High Trust Engine development). I could not have been more wrong! Technology development shifted from ESA to the EU;  Framework Program (FP-6; FP-7) and Horizon 2020 programs. CORDIS space.
European Chamical Agency (ECHA) has put in force REACH regulations. They have a list of chemicals that have to be replaced by more environmental friendly alternatives by 2018. At least Hydrazine is on there since 2009, and I think also AP (ammonium perchlorade) is on this list. Replacement technologies are developed by Horizon2020 programs.
If i'm not mistaken the LMP-103S and 106S green ADN mono-propellants were developed by a Framework Program project. The first launcher technologies will be flight tested this year (Nammo Nucleus), other technologies will be integrated in Vega C and Ariane 6. Currently there are at least two orbital micro launcher projects running for the Horizon 2020 program.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 09:53 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #3 on: 04/08/2016 11:40 AM »
I envision a european orbital launch family with six or seven different capabilities.
Ariane 5; 64: >12mT SSO; >6mT MEO (galileo); 11mT GTO (-1500m/s)
Ariane 62:     5,8mT SSO; 3mT MEO; 5,6mT GTO
Vega C/E; Soyuz: 2-4mT SSO; 1-2mT MEO; 1-3mT GTO
Vega / Vega-: ~1,5mT SSO
Mini LV:        500kg SSO
Micro LV:      200kg SSO
Nano LV:      <50kg SSO

And also multiple sounding rockets, that use stages from the mini, micro and nano launch vehicles.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2016 12:20 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #4 on: 04/08/2016 01:35 PM »
When I'm already posting so much lets continue. (Sorry Kraisee, and others)

The Horizon2020 project Altair reached the news a half a year ago.
A couple of weeks ago I came across this document NLR Smile. This corresponds to this Horizon 2020 project. And this webpage is build for it, but should not have surfaced jet (like with HorizonSAS page)

Than there was a SpaceUK meting back in februari, some of the presentations surfaced.
Airbus UK 200kg SSO launcher; QinetiQ Launch Services; Leuchars Airport; UK Spaceport - Outer Hebrides
Those most likely shouldn't have surfaced as well, I'm sorry I like to share these things.
I'm expecting a micro launcher program under EU or ESA funding that will be decided at the ESA Ministerial conference 2016.

I also expect ESA to develop a system like BlueOrigin New Shaperd. It was past of Aldebaran; OrbSpace Infinity (Nano). I think this is what SMILE is looking at. Nammo and PLDspace are involved, and it might be that their plan has been changed because of pressure form DLR (MoBaRa). (NLR and DLR have very close ties).

I don't know if DLR wants VLM launched from Europe, because if I'm not mistaken it uses AP. At Esrange hydrazine (and derivatives) are banned, and I expect that from 2020 this will also be the case at CSG.
There are currently two operational sounding rocket launch sites in Europe: Esrange (SSC; Sweden) and Andoya(ASC; Norway). Besides this there are five rocket ranges: QinetiQ MOD Hebrides (UK; South Uist); CEDEA INTA (Spain); CEL (Landes) & CEM (Le Levant) (France) and Salto di Quirra (CIRA/ASI; Italy).
There are plans for orbital launches from: SSC; ASC; QinetiQ and possibly CEDEA. Also HorizonSAS wants to launch from a floating platform.

At CSG there are three launch sides out of use. ELC-2 is known (Ariane 4 launch site). What is un known is that there is also a sounding rocket facility and the former Diamant launch site that was also used for the first launches of Ariane 1. All facilities are on this interactive site (from CNES).
Will one of these two facilities be refurbished so they could be used by Micro Launch vehicles and Sounding rockets.
   
I don't expect all the launch sites to get operational, and Orbital launches from Land-locked Esrange seems difficult safety wise to me. Time will tell how this develops.   
I think that these kind of developments are why European member-states have doubts about the effectiveness of the ISS. European industrie has hardly any work to do for it. Our science is not flown ACES; ASIM, and our astronauts don't get the time to train for our experiments (Haptics). Science flown to the ISS has to be as autonomous as possible because there is hardly any science crew-time. And with reusable suborbital an orbital vehicles that fly frequently, more science can be executed for the same or lower cost. 
And we generate more payloads for European launch vehicles.   

One SME with a development I'm holding back. And I think the connection that might exist between some project is over-obvious, so I won't write it down.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #5 on: 04/08/2016 02:33 PM »
Some news today. Although it is not about Arianespace.
Swedish Space Center (SSC/esrange) put their new brochure online the 7th of April.
Page 15 is interesting. From 2021 they want to offer SmallSat Express (also known as Project Rainbow).
SmallSat Express are multiple flight opportunities each year to launch Satellites from 1-150 kg to a standard 'dawn-dusk' 500km SSO orbit from Esrange Space Center.

Offline catdlr

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #6 on: 04/29/2016 04:35 AM »
just ran int this, thought it would fit this thread...

Meet Adeline, Airbus' Answer to SpaceX Reusability

Published on Jun 5, 2015
Airbus unveiled Adeline, a reusable first-stage rocket concept it hopes will make future Ariane rockets competive against reusable SpaceX rockets.

YouTube Location: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tV29pEvZvZw

« Last Edit: 04/29/2016 04:35 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #7 on: 05/31/2016 03:38 PM »
The SMILE project page has been launched. (it was down for a short time.)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Arianespace's new &quot;micro launcher&quot;
« Reply #8 on: 05/31/2016 04:32 PM »
The SMILE project page has been launched. (it was down for a short time.)
Good luck keeping costs down with so many partners involved.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #9 on: 05/31/2016 04:45 PM »
It are all fixed price contracts for different technologies the companies are going to develop and test. There is hardly a possibility this goes over budget, they might not reach their technology maturity level. That's how most of the Horizon 2020 projects work if I'm not mistaken.

Offline kato

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #10 on: 05/31/2016 05:32 PM »
There are only 14 partners with:
- three space agencies or public space research institutes
- the prospective launch area operator
- two business consulting companies incl. one that from what little one can gleam seems to work in the lobbying field
- a few startups
- a few mechanical design companies
- a company that pretty much only needs funding to build a launcher on the mechanical side (with related experience)...
- ... and a company that can single-handedly provide the electronics and software side, both on the launcher and on the ground (with related experience).

Realistically, from the list of partner companies this whole thing sounds more like a Nammo/Terma teamup to build a launcher. With public funding. And some outsourced minor design and technology development.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 05:33 PM by kato »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #11 on: 05/31/2016 06:31 PM »
This is a project to mature Large HTP hybrid engines and an innovative nozzle design for bi-liquid engines from DLR.
NLR Smile project document. Cordis Horizon 2020 page (Click on + symobols behind the companies to view the contract values).
They will also examine if Andoya can serve as orbital launch range, this is driven by Nammo and Norway.
PldSpace and Tecnalia are involved because they will use the test stand from PLD Space to test the liquid engine (nozzle). (Though the results of this program might be useful for the Arion launch family).

This is how space works in Europe, a single company can't raise enough funding to develop it's system. So the companies have to work together.
This is a technology maturation program, a launcher development program can be the next phase. This can be under EU/ESA funding or the technologies can be used for projects from individual companies (Nammo, PLD space & WEBA). With higher technology maturation levels the investments are less risky, thus more investors will be interested. Investors in Europe are much more risk averse than in the USA.

Edit: here is the Cordis Horizon 2020 project description for the Altair launcher study
« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 06:50 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #12 on: 06/03/2016 11:13 AM »
I found a news report on the SMILE project on the website form Andoya Space Center (ASC) Link

edit: the NLR SMILE Press release
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 10:22 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline ringsider

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #13 on: 10/08/2016 09:43 AM »
This is how space works in Europe, a single company can't raise enough funding to develop it's system. So the companies have to work together.

You said you were holding back one project, was it SMILE or something else?

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #14 on: 10/09/2016 04:15 PM »
You said you were holding back one project, was it SMILE or something else?

It wasn't SMILE, but the company is involved.
It can be just a coincidence, but since I posted about European projects here, all conference proceedings from European conferences require a log-in procedure. So I try to  :-X more

To anser your question I had to read back my posts. remarkable how correct this statement turns out to be:
'And the available micro and small launch vehicles (Dnepr; Strela; Rockot) are no longer available / politically unattractive.'
 :-[  :o

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #15 on: 10/01/2017 07:07 AM »
I stumbled accross a news release on  andoyaspace.no.
It's in norwegan, not a language I know. But from the simularities in Germanic languages; I think it states the following:
ASC invites locals for a presentation/discussion about the intent to start orbital launches from ASC.
The event is planned for 17 Oktober from 18-21 hours.

First results of the SMILE project?

And lets not forget this news release from SSC (Rainbow project | also known as Smallsat Express)
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 07:38 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #16 on: 10/01/2017 07:37 PM »
I stumbled accross a news release on  andoyaspace.no.
It's in norwegan, not a language I know. But from the simularities in Germanic languages; I think it states the following:
ASC invites locals for a presentation/discussion about the intent to start orbital launches from ASC.
The event is planned for 17 Oktober from 18-21 hours.

First results of the SMILE project?

And lets not forget this news release from SSC (Rainbow project)
Its for a programme also called NSLV in older documentation.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #17 on: 10/02/2017 04:36 PM »
Its for a programme also called NSLV in older documentation.

Which of the two; ASC or SSC?

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #18 on: 10/02/2017 04:39 PM »
Its for a programme also called NSLV in older documentation.

Which of the two; ASC or SSC?
ASC

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #19 on: 10/02/2017 07:51 PM »
I'm not so good with abriviations.
NSLV = North Star Launch Vehicle from Nammo.
That's one half of the SMILE project. The other half is a German cryo liquid engine. That engine will be tested on the engine test stand from PLD Space.
The study to make ASC suitable for orbital launch was/is also part of SMILE.
Smile, Altair, Arion2 (PLD Space) and Bloonstar gave presentations during the IAC conference.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 09:57 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #20 on: 10/02/2017 09:45 PM »
I just realised only Vega L and other launchers Arianespace is going to offer are on topic.
May I sugest to change the subject of this topic into "European new micro launchers".

I don't expect any new Arianespace launchers before 2024, after the Vega-C and Ariane 6 have been introduced. 2024 is the aimed introduction date for Vega-E (is in study phase). There was also a presentation about Vega-E; VUS with Myra engine, and VEnUS solar electric orbit raising stage, during IAC.
Possibly Vega-L will be introduced earlier.

Vega-L is a proposal from AVIO/ELV. The press release talked about two configurations. I think that Arianegroup /France might also be interested in one of these configurations. This is the configuration that could be introduced earlier. Let me explain by discribing what I expect for the two versions of Vega-L.

The most capable version is most likely derived from Vega-E. This is a two stage launcher, with a first stage derived from Z40 (or M51 1th stage) and VUS as 2th stage. Optionally VEnUS could be added as 3th stage. (Configuration P40-VUS / P36-C10)
The second version I expect to be a derivative of Vega-C or M51, this would be a 3stage launcher. The first stage is most likely also derived from Z40 or M51 1th. The second stage could be Z9A or M51 2th. AVUM+ would be the 3th stage for this Vega-L version. (Configuration P36-P9/Z9-AVUM+/S0,75).
I've used the French launcher configuration nomenclature.
I think Arianegroup might be very interested in the second configuration. Because they also produce the M51. This version of Vega-L might utilize the factory where M51's are produced, when there is no demand from France.

Now a side topic; Vega and Vega-C, I call these Small launchers.
The resent order of 6× Vega and 4× Vega-C launchers indicate that Arianespace will use Vega and Vega-C at the same time. If the configuration of vega doesn't change, this means that AVIO/ELV have to produce 7 different stages at the same time. (P120C, P80, Z40, Z23, Z9A, AVUM and AVUM+)
If Vega-L gets added to the launch offering, a P40 will be added, but this is most likely nearly identical to Z40. I expect that these 10 Vega(-C) launchers will be used in 2019 and 2020, so 5 launches annually.
Does Avio wants to streamline it's production proces after 2020?

If Vega-E gets developed, Z9A and AVUM(+) will be replaced by the VUS stage. This reduces the ammount of stage configurations by three. (P120C,  P80, Z40/P40, VUS (& VEnUS)).
In this scenario P80 will be produced at a low rate <4x/y. Z40/P40 @ 6-10×/Y and P120C @~35x/Y. Could P80 be replaced by a stage simular to Z40/P40 or a longer version of P40, aka P50-P75. The launch capability for this launcher (Vega+) should be 1,5mT to 700km SSO. This would eliminate the requirement for the 3m diameter P80 mandrel.  Only the P120C 3,4m and Z40/P40 2,36m remain.
Possibly a expendable Prometheus powered first stage and VUS could also replace Vega. Or if Callisto is a succes: Multiple Myra-VUS.

I expect MT Aerospace will produce two different solid stage sizes: P120C (3,4m) and S50 (1,45m).
Possibly the 1,45m diameter is interasting for a H2O2-HC storable in orbit stage that could replace AVUM on the small Vega-L, and supplement VEnUS (more dV in orbit stage).
This 1,45m might also be interesting for a rideshare adapter like ESPA or Sherpa.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 02:31 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline bolun

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Re: Arianespace's new "micro launcher"
« Reply #21 on: 10/03/2017 09:07 AM »
May I sugest to change the subject of this topic into "European new micro launchers".

Done  ;)

Offline gongora

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Re: European new micro launchers
« Reply #22 on: 10/03/2017 03:37 PM »
We already have the Countdown to new smallsat launchers thread for new commercial smallsat launchers, and individual threads for many of the companies also.  I'm not sure we really need a separate thread for European commercial smallsat launchers.  It might be better to keep this one focused on Arianespace and ESA launchers.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: European new micro launchers
« Reply #23 on: 10/03/2017 04:30 PM »
gongora; I disagree with you. In Europe a space company without institutional backing won't make it.
All companies that do sereaus development are involved in ESA or EU Horizon 2020 programs. PLD Space is mostly funded by the government of Spain. And all UK initiatives also rely on government backing.
So which company succeeds it's launcher development, depends on political decisions in my opinion.
I hope it's clear I'm skeptical about commercial enterprises (startups) developing a launch service, especially in the EU/Europe.

There are four or five possible orbital launch sites: CSG (France Guiana); SSC (Sweden); ASC (Norway); CEDEA (Spain) and multiple possible sites in the UK. The authorities for these launch sites, decide which launcher is allowed to launch from the launch site and which regulations apply. 
My opinion is that ASC is the best location for orbital micro launchers. Next is CSG and then the UK (but is the UK Europe?). SSC is located inland, and CEDEA requires south-westward launches.
Smile studied launchers from ASC; Rainbow/Small sat Express from SSC and Altair from a huge UAV. PLD Space intents to launch from CEDEA. The UK is and rightfully has a topic of it's own. CSG means Arianespace launch service, I've written about that.

Offline gosnold

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Re: European new micro launchers
« Reply #24 on: 10/03/2017 05:48 PM »
I don't think P80 will be kept in production, I think the recent order for baseline Vegas will be the last one, then it will be full Vega C/E.
Regarding M-51, I don't think the French MoD is interested in maintaining a continuous production of M51. It is interesting in the industrial base for solids, but that can be accomplished by having a specifically civilian solid stage in production or design. No need to have a common military/civilian design. Besides, ICBM are purchased in batches (roughly 1 batch per submarine), and then the production stops, so keeping a low-rate production for civilian use is not optimal.
So Vega-L will most likely have aZ40 1st stage, with a VUS or Z9 on top.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: European new micro launchers
« Reply #25 on: 10/03/2017 08:59 PM »
Regarding M-51, I don't think the French MoD is interested in maintaining a continuous production of M51. It is interesting in the industrial base for solids, but that can be accomplished by having a specifically civilian solid stage in production or design. No need to have a common military/civilian design. Besides, ICBM are purchased in batches (roughly 1 batch per submarine), and then the production stops, so keeping a low-rate production for civilian use is not optimal.
So Vega-L will most likely have aZ40 1st stage, with a VUS or Z9 on top.

Z40 doesn't work as first stage. It's nozzle has a expansion ratio for higher altitudes. And the grain geometry is optimized for a second stage, thus it has a flat thrust curve. A first stage needs an increased thrust during the first couple of seconds of it's burn. So Z40 as first stage isn't an option.
M51 1th is sea level optimized, but designed to be started submerged.  I also don't think that M51 1th could be applied directly.
That's why I wrote "derived from", and I really mean that Avio or Arianegroup have to develop a new solid stage. They could reuse a casing and possibly the nozzle of M51 1th and other systems. But the grain geometry has to be redesigned for Vega-L.
I expect that Z9A or M51 2th can be applied directly in the less capable version of Vega-L.
As replacement for Vega a launcher with the P40-Z40-Z9A-AVUM+ or P40-Z40-VUS. This P40 isn't the same as the first stage of Vega-L, because of the heavier payload (payload+stages) it has to deliver more thrust. So even when the casing is the same for the two P40 versions and Z40, the grain geometry and most likely nozzles have to be different.
I think a longer casing with the 2,36m diameter of Z40; to replace P80, might be an interesting idea.
But Arianegroup most likely prefers a vega replacement that uses Myra, Prometheus and or callisto technology.

Solids have a limited stowage live (from ~a year to several decades). Longer stowage live make a solid stage more expansive. So possibly France is interested in selling the stages that near their end of service live. This could be used on a version Vega-L with AVUM.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 09:20 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: European new micro launchers
« Reply #26 on: 10/04/2017 10:02 AM »
I just discovered that there is a German-led Mini launcher development under the ESA FLPP program.
It's a 10mln Euro program, mainly funded by Germany. I found this in the OHB half year 2017 presentation.
Another program under FLPP backed during MC2016 is the VEnUS Electric (xenon) Upperstage development. OHB Italy is the lead, It's part of Vega-E and it's a 13mln project.
Both projects are most likely technology maturation studies. For realization more expansive project need to follow.

For the VLM launcher project (DLR & IAE) OHB; MT Aerospace will develop the S50 casing under the CaSSiS IMC project. Production of the first test article started in Juli. The structural test plan should be finished in October / november. The Test Rediness Review (TRR) is planned for March 2018.

I think there are two options for the mini launcher developed under FLPP:
1) VLM with a green Stowable upper stage (HTP mono, HTP-HC or HTP-HTPB [Hypergeo])
2) A LOx-HC launcher, also studied under SMILE (Aldebaran CATS or Infinity)
« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 10:12 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

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