New type of booster casing for ARIANE 6 successfully tested

This morning, MT Aerospace AG, a space technology company based in Augsburg, Germany and subsidiary of the listed technology group OHB SE*, successfully tested a new technology for carbon fiber-reinforced (CFRP) booster casings.

With a diameter of 3.5 meters and a length of 6 meters, the booster was tested at the Materials Testing Institute in Stuttgart to determine whether it meets representative requirements as seen during an Ariane launch. Simulating pressure loads over 125 bar, the CFRP booster casing successfully passed all tests.

Franz Josef Pschierer, the Bavarian state secretary for economics and technology commented: “The successful test of the CFRP booster casing marks an important step in the development of the ARIANE 6 launch vehicle and, hence, for the European space industry as a whole. I congratulate MT Aerospace AG on this success. This not only benefits Augsburg but strengthens the status of the entire state of Bavaria as one of the leading hubs of high-tech research and production.”

MT Aerospace has been working since summer 2013 on the development of the state-of-the-art production technology for carbon-fiber processing together with the DLR Center for Lightweight Production Technology (DLR-ZLP) on behalf of the European Space Agency ESA (FORC project) and the Bavarian government (DLR-ZLP project KOFFER). Featuring infusion technology, the newly developed process leads to lower cost when compared to conventional wet-winding processes, substantially enhancing the competitiveness of the new European launch vehicle.

Since 2015 MT Aerospace has been already involved in the development and industrialization of the Ariane 6 CFRP booster. Alongside Colleferro near Rome, Augsburg is selected to be the second production site for CFRP booster casing for the new European launch vehicle, replacing the previous steel versions of Ariane 5. The successful test marked the completion of a crucial milestone in the development programme.

The maiden flight for the new ARIANE 6 is scheduled for 2020.

* (Prime Standard, ISIN: DE0005936124)

The CFRP booster demonstrator during winding operation at the DLR-ZLP
The CFRP booster demonstrator during winding operation at the DLR-ZLP
prior to burst testing in the testing pit at the Materials Testing Institute (MPA) in Stuttgart (Source: MPA).
prior to burst testing in the testing pit at the Materials Testing Institute (MPA) in Stuttgart (Source: MPA).

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