Engaged alongside the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), our Clemessy experts are participating in the combined qualification tests of Ariane 6. From the Center’s ELA-4 launch area Spatial Guyanais, they implement the measurement system to verify and qualify the interfaces between the launcher and its launch pad. At the start of the week, the ignition of the Vulcain 2.1 engine for four seconds confirmed that the elements on the ground and those on board the launcher are working well together, in accordance with forecasts.
During the combined qualification tests of the Ariane 6 launcher, the ELA-4 launch area must be equipped with numerous measures allowing a static firing test of the main stage of the Ariane 6 launcher to be carried out. “These measures make it possible to qualify the test, while actively participating in the safety of the launcher. High-performance measuring systems are then installed on the launch pad, in order to monitor all of these measurements,” indicates Alexandre Batail, Clemessy Project Manager.
In order to be able to control the system via start-up commands, acquisitions and status feedback, the Visualization and Archiving Acquisition System (SAVA) and the Launch Assembly Measurement System (SYMEL) are connected to the test bench. control of Ariane 6, nominal means allowing the preparation and monitoring of the launcher before it is fired.
SAVA and SYMEL also serve as interfaces for “specific measurements”, which are correlated to a set of sensors. “These sensors make it possible to characterize, on the one hand, the environment of the Ariane 6 launch pad and, on the other hand, the voltage and current levels of the interfaces between the elements on the ground and those on board of the launcher,” continues Alexandre Batail.
The technical operation of these measurement systems is based on five electrical bays dedicated to the acquisition of measurements and coordinates around a server bay. A thousand acquisition channels (temperature, TOR, pressure, vibration, acoustics, etc.), associated with the Dewesoft data acquisition system (DAQ), are also required. And the connection between the SAVA and the control bench is entirely secured by our cybersecurity experts.
Depending on the smooth running of the combined test phase and firing of the Vulcain 2.1 engine, the test and qualification flight of the Ariane 6 launcher is expected for the beginning of 2024.