Ariane6 Space Launcher Achieves Major Milestone
The Ariane6 space launcher program successfully completed an important milestone of its qualification plan. A long-duration hot-fire test on the launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport, French Guiana was performed recently.
The test sequence mirrored previous ones simulating a complete launch sequence, including the removal of the mobile gantry and the filling of the launcher’s upper and core stage tanks with liquid hydrogen (-253° Celsius) and liquid oxygen (-183° Celsius). The test ended with the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, which functioned for more than seven minutes of stabilized operation — covering the entire core stage flight phase.
All the functional aspects of Ariane 6’s core stage during the flight phase were tested. The success of this hot-fire test contributes to qualification of the launch sequence operations and to the qualification of Ariane 6 core stage operations.
Ariane6 is the first space launcher to use fiber optic-based “opto-pyro” technology for all critical functions such as ignition, separation, passivation and neutralization.
The contribution of ID Quantique to the program is the development and supply of a high performance and OTDR-based (Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer) integrity and performance monitoring system for the fiber optic network of all Ariane6 launchers. The IDQ test equipment are used during the assembly of the launchers as well as on the launch pad prior to each launch.
About ID Quantique
ID Quantique‘s (IDQ) Quantum Sensing business unit provides photon counting solutions for the visible and near infrared regions of the optical spectrum, pulsed laser sources, counting & timing electronics and photonic sensing solutions for both industrial and research applications in various domains, such as quantum physics, communication, biological and material sciences, defense and security, oil and gas, etc.
To request more information or a quotation for any ID Quantique products, contact IL Photonics.