Technology for the European Next Generation Launcher - Integrated On-Ground and In-Flight Development Approach

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D. Boggiato; R. da Costa; T. Franck. G. Tumino (2007), JBIS, 60, 443-448

Refcode: 2007.60.443
Keywords: Future launcher, in-flight experimentation, re-entry vehicle, reusable launcher vehicle, re-use technologies, Technology Readiness Level

ESA's Future Launcher Preparatory Programme (FLPP) includes system activities and technology developments, especially on materials and structures and on propulsion. The overall approach is system-driven, i.e. FLPP aims at defining reference launcher concepts from which technology development needs are derived, and a corresponding demonstration logic and scenario - including in-flight experimentation vehicles. This paper addresses the activities in the frame of the technology identification and verification process, which was concluded with the choice of a preferred demonstrator concept. The activities consisted of: - the identification of the critical technologies and of their present and target readiness levels - the establishment of their associated verification needs - the establishment of a verification approach for each need (what to be tested and how, whether on-ground or in-flight) - the identification of possible in-flight demonstrator candidates for re- entry and re-use technologies - the trade-offs among demonstrator candidates based on their experimentation output potential, and optimization of the synergies with on-ground testing - the selection of preferred in-flight demonstrator concepts. The paper shows the above process, together with details and intermediate results of the work leading to the final choice. Additionally it gives a summary and an outlook into the next expected steps.

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