Materials, structure and stages

Vehicle equipment bay of an Ariane 5G

Launchers consist of a number of stages. Each stage is a complete element of a launch vehicle and contains propellant tanks, one or more engines and electrical, mechanical or pneumatic equipment.

Different materials and structure concepts are used for all these components.

New technologies for materials and stages

Advanced technology for future launch vehicle

Advanced designs, materials and manufacturing techniques are needed to improve the structural architecture of Ariane 5. These will include:

  • composite structures
  • friction stir welding
  • improvements in stage attachment
  • advanced thrust frame
  • opto-pyrotechnic systems based on a laser source and optical fibres
  • advanced avionics architecture with improved components, on-board computers and wireless transducers


Advanced technologies for reusable launchers

The technologies needed to build a reusable launcher will include innovative concepts and materials for structures, such as:

  • carbon-fibre reinforced polymer intertank/payload bay
  • multi-engine thrust frame
  • reusable propellant tanks with either advanced alloys (Al-Li) or composite materials
  • improved methods for monitoring the structural health of launcher systems
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