High-thrust engine demonstrator industrial day

15 February 2010

Earlier this month, the German Aerospace Center, DLR, in its test centre at Lampoldshausen, hosted the annual high-thrust engine demonstrator (HTE Demo) industry day. Delegations from ESA Member States, propulsion industry managers and representatives from ESA’s Launcher Directorate reviewed the achievements, business opportunities and objectives of the demonstrator for the European future first stage propulsion, developed within ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme.

Activities were presented by the Joint Propulsion Team, a contractor consortium composed of Astrium GmbH (D), Avio SpA (I) and SNECMA (F).

Liquid propulsion has been selected for first stage propulsion trade-offs because of its flexibility, growth potential, low environmental impact and proven records. Propulsion system studies are being performed, to select the demonstrator reference design by mid- 2010, proceeding towards hot-firing tests of the complete HTE Demo around 2015. This may evolve at any time into a pre-development phase if required.

In parallel, this project encompasses a complete set of advanced technology to meet ambitious costs and reliability objectives. These high technologies will offer business opportunities, spinoffs for Ariane 5, Vega and the non-space sector.

The HTE demonstrator will incorporate a maximum of enabling technologies identified for the target engines, assessed either in the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP) or in national programmes (TEKAN 2010, TPX, Mira, NE-X…etc). It will feature a 140 tonne thrust-class design to achieve the best size/cost compromise to be as representative as possible of the challenges of a full-scale engine while minimising test bench adaptations.

“The High Thrust Engine Demonstrator Project has already delivered significant technological achievements, including several European ‘firsts’. It will prepare key technical and programmatic data for the future of European launchers.” said Jérôme Breteau, ESA’s Propulsion Project Manager.

“Industry is assessing and acquiring the different technologies that Europe will be adopting in the development of a main propulsion system for the Next Generation Launcher to be in service by around 2020-25. This long-term endeavour will steadily deliver high-tech and skilled jobs for the benefit of all European Member States, and will safeguard the key expertise necessary for satisfactory launcher exploitation by Arianespace”

“Building on the excellence of propulsion expertise in the European propulsion industrial team of the ESA FLPP, this endeavour will allow a significant step forward for Europe’s advanced liquid propulsion capabilities and will enable the assessment of our options for the European next-generation launch system.” underlined Antonio Fabrizi, ESA Director of Launchers.

Note for editors:

The Joint Propulsion Team is a consortium and co-contractor team composed of: EADS Astrium, Avio and Snecma;

supported by an industrial team composed of: APP, DEIMOS Space, DLR, FORCE Technology, IberEspacio, INTALES, Precicast, Science & Technology, Techspace Aero, TNO, Vibro-Meter and Volvo Aero.

The HTE Demonstration contract, the activities of which started in 2007, has a total value of more than €80 million and covers relevant industrial activities within ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme FLPP Period 2, until mid-2012.

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