MT Aerospace, ArianeGroup sign prototype development contract for optimised Ariane 6 upper stage

(21 Jun 2021) MT Aerospace AG, a subsidiary of OHB SE, was awarded a contract by ArianeGroup GmbH as part of the Future Launcher's Preparatory Program of the European Space Agency (ESA) for the advanced technology development for a future black upper stage for the European launcher Ariane 6.

The advantages of the smart material CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastic) are in demand for the commissioned development of the propellant tanks and structures

In the technology development PHOEBUS (Prototype Highly Optimised Black Upper Stage) for the future optimised upper stage) called "ICARUS," full use is being made of CFRP. The use of the smart material carbon fibre should make it possible to largely dispense with metallic components of the upper stage tanks and structures. As a result, each rocket equipped with a black (so called because of the dark material CFRP) ICARUS upper stage will be able to carry an additional payload of up to two tons.

Over the next three years, an upper stage demonstrator will be developed and manufactured, which will have to prove its functionality in the final system test conducted by ArianeGroup GmbH. The prototype tanks for liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LOX) will be manufactured in near-real size, meaning they will be about 2.5 meters high, with a diameter of 3.5 meters.

Reference: MT Aerospace PR

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