Collin Beers, NLR, Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, DLR, and Cora von Nieuwenhuizen, Member of European Parliament, present the SMILE project at ESSC 2016 in The Hague.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is participating in the European Union Horizon 2020 project SMILE (SMall Innovative Launcher for Europe), which is coordinated by the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR). Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Member of European Parliament and co-rapporteur Space, Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board and Collin Beers, division manager of Aerospace Vehicles of NLR, officially launched the common EU-project at the European Space Solutions Conference (ESSC) in The Hague at 31 May 2016. The objectives of the SMILE project are to design a concept for an innovative, cost-effective European launcher for small satellites up to 50 kg and a Europe-based launch facility at Andøya, Norway. It is Europe’s ambition to gain independent access to space for small satellites.
The market for small satellites is expanding. Manufacturers of small satellites nowadays have to piggyback on a large launcher which is dedicated to a primary customer. This dictates the timeline and target orbit, which is mostly conflicting with the intended missions of the small satellites. The new launcher will provide a launch capability for commercial, scientific and governmental missions.
By the end of 2018, the launcher design should be defined. Furthermore, some critical components including materials, structures, propulsion and avionics should be designed and tested. DLR’s tasks are to develop a ceramic-based liquid propellant (oxygen/kerosene) rocket engine and to act as an advisor for avionics. All activities are led by the department of Space System Integration of the Institute of Structures and Design in Stuttgart.
The SMILE consortium consists of 14 partners: NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre as coordinator (Netherlands), 3D Systems (Belgium), Airborne Composites Automation (Netherlands), Andøya Space Centre (Norway), BoesAdvies (Netherlands), DLR – German Aerospace Centre (Germany), Heron Engineering (Greece), ISIS – Innovative Solutions in Space (Netherlands), Nammo Raufoss AS (Norway), INCAS – National Institute for Aerospace Research (Romania), PLD Space (Spain), Tecnalia (Spain), Terma (Denmark) und WEPA Technologies (Germany).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s “Horizon 2020 research and innovation program” under grant agreement No 687242.