ArianeGroup has successfully tested a full-scale demonstrator of the thrust chamber for a next-generation upper-stage rocket engine incorporating the latest propulsion technologies.
ArianeGroup has successfully tested a full-scale demonstrator of the thrust chamber for an upper-stage rocket engine incorporating the newest propulsion technologies. Initial hot firing tests were performed at the DLR German Aerospace Center P3.2 test facility in Lampoldshausen.
The Expander-cycle Technology Integrated Demonstrator (ETID) is a precursor of the next generation of a rocket engine in the 10-tonne thrust class. It will help to prove innovative technologies, materials and manufacturing techniques.
It is being tested under ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme, which aims to increase the future competitiveness of European launchers by creating ready-made technical solutions that can be transferred for quick development projects with minimal cost, effort and risk.
Different technologies and methods of manufacture have been tested, such as additive manufacturing, laser ignition and cost-efficient materials. In addition, components will be tested to lay the foundations for a future ‘smart’ engine.
By the end of the year, ETID will have been hot fired up to 20 times, each test run lasting 120 seconds, in conditions similar to those in space, with a near-vacuum provided by the test stand.
ArianeGroup in Germany is prime contractor on this programme. European partners include GKN Aerospace (Sweden), APP (Netherlands), Safran Aero Boosters (Belgium) and Carinthian Tech Research (Austria).