CORDIS - EU research results

Advancing Space Access Capabilities - Reusability and Multiple Satellite Injection

Project description

Aiming towards more efficient space launches

The push for space exploration and communications has resulted in costly missions, added space debris, and issues of safe disposal on re-entry. ASCenSIon project is focused on multiple payloads in orbits, reuse of propulsion systems, and ecologic and economic sustainability. It will examine technologies both in simulations and test runs to assess durability of propulsion systems, and will develop systems for monitoring orbit and landing conditions for multiple launches. This will require advanced models in thermodynamics and aerodynamics tested against cold-flow and hot fire techniques, wireless sensor networks, and reliable guidance, navigation and control systems (GNC) to ensure feasibility and application, changing the profile of space launches.


The purpose of the ASCenSIon project is to develop a programme that focuses on several specific areas of cutting edge space access research, particularly on launcher systems that are (partially) reusable and capable of injecting multiple payloads into multiple orbits. More than providing design concepts, the network aims to identify and advance critical technologies to prove a feasibility of these concepts. Fields of research and training include propulsion technologies and their reusability; Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC); aero-thermo-dynamics of re-entry and safe disposal. A variety of technologies will be advanced, including hybrid rocket engines, electric pump feeding and advanced nozzle configurations. Both computational and experimental (cold-flow and hot fire) techniques will ensure an efficient process and reliable results. The reuse of propulsion systems demands an assessment of their durability. It will be conducted by numerical simulations, system analysis with EcosimPro/ESPSS and experimental test runs. The development and integration of wireless sensor networks will allow health monitoring of these critical subsystems. Moreover, novel GNC strategies and processes have to be developed for the whole mission trajectory. This includes solutions for optimised flexibility w.r.t. the orbital insertion conditions as well as dedicated descend trajectories and GNC missionisation for re-entry. The models will cover various recovery concepts and the support of multiple landing sites. This requires an extensive examination of the aero-thermo-dynamics during re-entry as well as of the interactions between stage recovery and propulsion system layout. Ecological and economical sustainability will be addressed as new payload concepts including large constellations increase the demand for safe disposal and space debris mitigation to ensure an open access to space in the future. Furthermore, the utilisation of so called green propellants will be investigated.


Net EU contribution
€ 505 576,80
01069 Dresden

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Sachsen Dresden Dresden, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 505 576,80

Participants (10)