European reusable launch systems for more sustainability in spaceflight
by Staff Writers
Braunschweig, Germany (SPX) Jun 19, 2019
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and five European companies have teamed up in the RETro Propulsion Assisted Landing Technologies (RETALT) project to jointly advance the research and development of key technologies for European vertical-landing launch vehicles.
The consortium will spend three years examining the aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics - that is, in-flight surface temperatures - flight dynamics during both the outward and return flight phases, and navigation and control, as well as structural components, materials and mechanisms.
"Reusable space transport systems equipped with retropropulsion are already being used in the United States. The images and videos from SpaceX were a global sensation. It might therefore be surprising to learn that the physical phenomena underlying the technologies are not yet fully understood, but it is true. As things stand, we are lacking high-quality, experimental data from wind tunnel tests and ground-based demonstrations," says Ali Gulhan, RETALT Project Coordinator and Head of the Supersonic and Hypersonic Technology Department at the DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology in Cologne.
"By combining these data with numerical simulations, we will acquire a better understanding of the physics and take a very big step towards reusable rockets in Europe. Only close and intense cooperation between the research community and the industrial sector can yield the expertise required for the fastest possible implementation of the necessary technologies," adds Gulhan.
Two concepts for vertical take-off and landing launch vehicles will be examined during the project. The RETALT1 configuration has two stages - similar to the conventional Falcon 9 or Ariane 5 launchers.
The first stage of this launch vehicle is equipped with a landing capability. The second launcher (RETALT2 concept) has just one stage. It is designed for smaller payloads and will also use retropropulsion as well as a large aerodynamic surface on its underside to decelerate during its return flight.
The RETALT team is using reference configurations and smaller-scale models to analyse all aspects. Models at scales of between 1:30 and 1:100 are used for the aerodynamic tests in the DLR wind tunnels.
Configurations to analyse structural components like the landing legs are produced in scales of up to 1:3. The technologies will be tested in representative environments during the project. Prototypes can then be built on this basis to run tests in space.
About the project
The DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology is responsible for coordinating the project, the design of the reference configurations and assessment of the aerodynamics and aerothermodynamic behaviour by means of wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The Supersonic and Hypersonic Technology Department at the DLR site in Cologne and the Spacecraft Department team at the site in Gottingen are participating in the project.
CFS Engineering is also conducting CFD simulations and is additionally responsible for the dissemination and exploitation of the project results. Elecnor Deimos is examining the aerodynamics and developing the guidance, navigation and control concept for the reference configurations. MT Aerospace is developing structural components such as the landing legs, as well as aerodynamic control surfaces. They will also produce scaled demonstrators for the structures.
Almatech is developing mechanisms for the structural components and is responsible for designing a thrust vector control (TVC) system. Amorim Cork Composites is creating the thermal protection system (TPS) for critical components, especially the base area of the launch vehicles, which will be tested in the wind tunnel using a hot exhaust plume.
Students Boosting Technical Skills at NASA Wallops' Rocket Week
Wallops Island VA (SPX) Jun 11, 2019
University and community college students will boost their technical skills as rocket scientists building experiments for space flight during Rocket Week June 14-21, 2019, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Nearly 200 students and instructors from across the country will build and fly experiments on a NASA suborbital sounding rocket through the RockOn! and RockSat-C programs. "NASA has embarked on a journey to return humans to the Moon by 2024," said Giovanni Rosanova, chief of t ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.