Rocket Boosters Tested by ID Quantique’s OTDR
ID Quantique (IDQ) is very proud to have contributed to the successful final test firing of the P120C solid rocket motor of Ariane 6 in Kourou on 7 October 2020. The boosters were fired by the fiber-optic-based opto-pyrotechnic system, which was successfully tested and validated by ID Quantique’s photon counting Optical Time Domain Reflectometry (OTDR) installed on the test site of the solid propellant boosters.
Ariane 6 is the next generation of Launcher built under a program funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The new launcher Ariane 6 integrates several world-first technological breakthroughs. One of these is the all fiber-optic-based opto-pyrotechnic control and command system, enhancing the reliability, robustness, and performance of the launching system.
ArianeGroup has been working with ID Quantique to develop dedicated ground test equipment for integrity and performance monitoring of the fiber optic control system network associated with the opto-pyrotechnic system and to provide information about its integrity and performance in quasi real-time. IDQ designed a custom OTDR-based system, integrating IDQ’s ID281 SNSPD highest efficiency single-photon detection system, as well as the ID900 Time Controller and the ID300 Pulsed Laser source to achieve unrivalled sensitivity and spatial resolution of one centimeter. The IDQ ground test equipment is used in Kourou as well as in the different Ariane 6 assembly test sites located in Europe.
In 2019, ID Quantique received an A-ranking by ArianeGroup as part of its supplier evaluation program. This award recognizes the significant performance improvements achieved to meet the long-term aerospace industry requirements.
The whole test was carried out as planned and was a success. This was the last test before the inaugural flight of the European launcher scheduled for 2021. The IDQ teams look forward to the launch next year with great excitement!
To request more information or a quotation for any ID Quantique products, contact IL Photonics.