First TEPREL-DEMO motor created by PLD Space
|Country of origin||Spain|
|Propellant||liquid oxygen / kerosene|
|Cycle||Pressure-fed engine (TEPREL-C will use a turbopump)|
|Thrust||32.3 kN |
|Burn time||180 seconds|
TEPREL is a family of rocket engines designed and built by Spanish company PLD Space. It uses liquid propellant rocket engine technology to be used on their launchers Miura 1 and Miura 5. The TEPREL engine, called after the Spanish reusable engine program that is financing its development, uses kerosene and liquid oxygen as propellants. So far, several versions of this engine, intended to propel Miura 1, have been developed and tested on the company's own liquid propulsion test facilities located in Teruel, Spain.
The TEPREL-DEMO engine, originally called NetonVac1, was first tested in 2015. It is a calorimetric engine model, intended to demonstrate combustion stability as well as to acquire relevant information such as ignition and shut-down sequences, pressures and temperatures along the engine, thrust and propellant mass flow rates at different thrust profiles. Additionally, the engine served to test all associated hardware and software at PLD Space Propulsion Test Facilities. The engine is capable to produce a thrust of 28 kN at sea level.
With the TEPREL-A engine, first tested in 2017, the company included several design upgrades, such as a new combustion chamber design, an improved injector geometry and a regenerative cooling system. The later enables the engine to fire for nearly 2 minutes, which is the envisaged nominal functioning duration for the suborbital launch vehicle Miura 1. At sea level, the engine produces a thrust of 32 kN.
TEPREL-B is the first flight version of the TEPREL engine. Several design improvements have been implemented to reduce the overall weight of the engine. It is equipped with a thrust-vector-control system and a convergent-divergent nozzle, all regeneratively cooled. In May 2019 the first unit of this model was destroyed during a test. After a long investigation PLD Space concluded that the problem was due to excess pressure during engine start at ignition. PLD Space addressed the issue through a combination of improvements to the launch site infrastructure and procedural improvements. It is currently fully operational. In February 2020, PLD Space successfully completed a 122 second test that allowed it to achieve flight rating.