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Kopp, Alexander (2016) THE AURORA SPACE LAUNCHER CONCEPT. Deutsche Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress (DLRK) 2016, 13.-15. September 2016, Braunschweig, Deutschland.


Official URL: http://www.dlrk2016.dglr.de/nc/paper_download/index.html


Large-scale space transportation cost reductions will require completely new launch vehicle configurations. Various alternative launcher configurations have been investigated in the recent decades including hypersonic single stage or two stage to orbit vehicles. Unfortunately, these alternative concepts were frequently found to be technically infeasible or their economic viability perspectives were considered to be doubtful. However, technological advances can shift the results of earlier trade-offs, and vehicle concepts that so far were found to be uninteresting or even unfeasible can become attractive. Recently, with thin-ply composites a new material technology emerged that offers the potential for major structural weight reductions of launch vehicles. Also in other relevant technology areas improvements have been achieved. Therefore, it is reasonable to re-evaluate alternative launcher concepts and to assess whether with using thin-ply composites and the latest technologies in other areas, novel launcher configurations can be made feasible. Based on this idea, the Aurora space launcher study was initiated in late-2015/early-2016 with contributions from several European partners. Within the Aurora studies, several spaceplane-like vehicle configurations with different geometries, propulsion systems and mission profiles will be designed, investigated and evaluated with respect to their technical and economic feasibility. The first step of this study is a first order investigation of thin-ply composite mass saving potentials for selected configurations. This paper consists of two parts. The first part will discuss the study logic and the current status of the Aurora studies and introduces the first three vehicle configurations. In the second part the focus will be shifted to the thin-ply technology and its application on vehicle level. Corresponding results for the first two configurations will be presented and discussed. Although the analysis procedures are still simplified and the findings of preliminary nature, the results indicate that indeed large weight savings are possible when using thin-ply composites, whereas the actual mass saving strongly depends on the particular vehicle configuration, load environment and structural design. This opens very promising perspectives for the realization of advanced launcher configurations and encourages to further investigate alternative space transportation systems.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/107566/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Kopp, AlexanderAlexander.Kopp (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:September 2016
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:thin-ply Composites, Aurora space launcher study, alternative launcher concepts,
Event Title:Deutsche Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress (DLRK) 2016
Event Location:Braunschweig, Deutschland
Event Type:national Conference
Event Dates:13.-15. September 2016
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Transport
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RP - Raumtransport
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Raumfahrzeugsysteme - Systemanalyse Raumtransport
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Space Launcher Systems Analysis
Deposited By: Vormschlag, Nele Marei
Deposited On:16 Nov 2016 12:12
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:04

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