Aestus

Summary

Aestus
Aestus.jpg
Country of originGermany
First flight30 October 1997
Last flight25 July 2018
DesignerOttobrunn Space Propulsion Centre
ManufacturerAstrium
ApplicationUpper stage engine for the orbital insertion of heavy payloads
Associated L/VESA
SuccessorAestus II
StatusRetired
Liquid-fuel engine
PropellantNitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) / MMH
Mixture ratio1,9
CyclePressure-fed engine
Configuration
Nozzle ratio84
Performance
Thrust (vac.)29.6 kN (6,654 lbf)
Chamber pressure11 bar
Isp (vac.)324 s (3.18 km/s)
Burn time1100s
Dimensions
Length2.20 m
Diameter1.31 m
Dry weight111 kg
Used in
Ariane 5 G and ES
Ariane 6.1 (proposed)
References
References[1] [2]
Aestus II / RS-72
Country of originGermany, United States
DesignerOttobrunn Space Propulsion Centre, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
ManufacturerAstrium, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
ApplicationUpper stage engine for the orbital insertion of heavy payloads
Associated L/VESA
PredecessorAestus
StatusIn development
Liquid-fuel engine
PropellantNitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) / MMH
Mixture ratio1,9
CyclePressure-fed engine
PumpsXLR-132
Configuration
Nozzle ratio84
Performance
Thrust (vac.)55.4 kN (12,450 lbf)
Chamber pressure60 bar
Isp (vac.)340 s (3.3 km/s)
Burn time600s
Dimensions
Length2.29 m
Diameter1.31 m
Dry weight138 kg
References
References[3]

Aestus is a hypergolic liquid rocket engine used on an upper stage of Ariane 5 family rockets for the orbital insertion. It features unique design of 132 coaxial injection elements causing swirl mixing of the MMH propellants with Nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer. The pressure-fed engine allows for multiple re-ignitions.

Operations

Fuel and oxidizer are stored in two aluminium alloy tanks, fuel tank is spherical while oxidizer tank is enlarged due to different volumes required from engine operations. Before engine is started it is purged with helium and fuel is pressurized. Then oxidizer valve is opened in a center of injector followed by fuel injectors arranged on a chamber wall. Hypergolic propellants spontaneously ignite on contact expanding to supersonic velocities and escaping through cooled nozzle extension.

History

Aestus was developed by the Ottobrunn Space Propulsion Centre between 1988 and 1995 with first flight as an upper stage of Ariane 5 G flight 502 and performed as designed.[1][4] The first improvements were developed between 1999 and 2002 improving the frame performance and adjusting propellant mixture ratio from 2.05 to 1.90 with a first flight on an Ariane 5 flight 518 on 26 February 2004. Ignition qualification programme preparing engine for handling new Automated Transfer Vehicle that requires 3 ignitions per flight was completed in 2007 and flew with Jules Verne ATV on Ariane 5 flight 528.

Aestus II / RS-72

Aestus II (also known as RS-72) was a turbopump-fed version of the pressure-fed Aestus developed in a collaboration between the Ottobrunn Space Propulsion Centre and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (Boeing Rocketdyne at the time). It was designed for improved performance, thrust and reliability over its predecessor.

Aestus II development was supported by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne which provided turbopump for the engine. The first prototype variant, called RS-72 Pathfinder, successfully completed 14 tests at the White Sands Test Facility, reaching a 60 second burn time at 100% power in May 2000.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b EADS Astrium. "Aestus Brochure" (PDF). Airbus Defence and Space. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  2. ^ Turner, Martin J. L. (2004), Rocket and Spacecraft Propulsion: Principles, Practice and New Developments, Springer, pp. 86–88, ISBN 978-3-540-22190-6
  3. ^ EADS Astrium. "Aestus II / RS 72 Rocket Engine". Airbus Defence and Space. Archived from the original on 22 November 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Ariane 502—Results of detailed data analysis". ESA. 8 April 1998.
  5. ^ "Testing completed on new RS-72 upper stage engine". spaceflightnow.com. Boeing. 25 June 2000. Retrieved 22 June 2020.