Tests of a technology demonstrator
In­tro­duc­tion to LOX / methane tech­nol­o­gy
Image 1/6, Credit: Airbus Safran Launchers

Introduction to LOX / methane technology

A fu­el com­bi­na­tion com­pris­ing methane and liq­uid oxy­gen has an aus­pi­cious role to play in the de­vel­op­ment of new liq­uid rock­et fu­els for space. Al­ready in 2016, ex­ten­sive tests of a tech­nol­o­gy demon­stra­tor took place at the DLR Lam­pold­shausen in co­op­er­a­tion with Air­bus Safran Launch­ers. The LOX / methane tech­nol­o­gy is char­ac­terised by its re-us­abil­i­ty and is more cost-ef­fec­tive than con­ven­tion­al en­gine tech­nolo­gies.
Ariane 5 ECA Vulcain 2 engine
Vul­cain 2
Image 2/6, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Vulcain 2

In May 2004 the Ar­i­ane 5 ECA Vul­cain 2 en­gine un­der­went tests at DLR's test fa­cil­i­ties at Lam­pold­shausen in Ger­many.
Zero emissions – Hydrogen Site Lampoldshausen
Ze­ro emis­sions – Hy­dro­gen Site Lam­pold­shausen
Image 3/6, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Zero emissions – Hydrogen Site Lampoldshausen

DLR's Lam­pold­shausen site al­ready has decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in deal­ing with large quan­ti­ties of hy­dro­gen. Thus, the site of­fers a unique de­vel­op­ment and test en­vi­ron­ment that en­ables re­searchers to ex­per­i­ment with hy­dro­gen tech­nolo­gies and pro­cess­es in prac­tice, de­vel­op them fur­ther and make them ready for util­i­sa­tion. The Hy­dro­gen Site Lam­pold­shausen 'Ze­ro Emis­sion' project fo­cus­es on the gen­er­a­tion and use of green hy­dro­gen, with the aim of re­search­ing and har­ness­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the widespread use of hy­dro­gen pro­duced us­ing re­new­able re­sources – un­der the spe­cial con­di­tions of an en­er­gy-in­ten­sive lo­ca­tion for the test­ing of space propul­sion sys­tems.
P4 and P5 ESA test stands at DLR Lampoldshausen
P4 and P5 ESA test stands at DLR Lam­pold­shausen
Image 4/6, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

P4 and P5 ESA test stands at DLR Lampoldshausen

The P4.1 al­ti­tude sim­u­la­tion test stand (in the fore­ground) is a com­plex sys­tem for test­ing the Vin­ci re-ig­nitable cryo­genic up­per-stage en­gine.
Space for young people – the DLR_School_Lab in Lampoldshausen
Space for young peo­ple – the DLR_School_Lab in Lam­pold­shausen
Image 5/6, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Space for young people – the DLR_School_Lab in Lampoldshausen

How hot is a flame, and how can the tem­per­a­ture with­in it be mea­sured? This is one of the many ques­tions in the field of com­bus­tion re­search ad­dressed at the DLR_School_Lab in Lam­pold­shausen. Pupils con­duct re­search in the form of age-ap­pro­pri­ate, hands-on ex­per­i­ments that ap­ply to both rock­et propul­sion sys­tems and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly en­er­gy sup­ply.
Aerodynamic testing of an advanced rocket nozzle
Aero­dy­nam­ic test­ing of an ad­vanced rock­et noz­zle
Image 6/6, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Aerodynamic testing of an advanced rocket nozzle

DLR en­gi­neers are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the phe­nomenon of noz­zle flow on a scale mod­el in the P6.2 re­search test stand.

At its site in Lampoldshausen, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) hosts expertise that is unique within Europe for the development and operation of rocket engine test stands. Over the last 60 years, the Institute of Space Propulsion, which is based in Lampoldshausen and now employs approximately 340 members of staff, has developed into a key partner for the European space industry.

Working for European spaceflight

With the Ariane launcher family, Europe is able to put satellites into orbit for a wide range of applications using its own resources, thus securing competitive and independent access to space. The engine test stands at the Lampoldshausen site are an essential part of efforts to develop propulsion system technologies to the point where they are ready for use; they are also essential for ensuring their quality. For example, with its P4.1 altitude simulation test stand, DLR is playing a vital role in the development of upper-stage engines. Researchers can conduct tests here by simulating the environmental conditions and flight loads to which the engines will later be subjected as realistically as possible.

Overview of research areas

Alongside the development and operation of engine test stands, DLR researchers are also studying technologies for advanced future space propulsion systems, using the P8 research and technology test stand. Their research focuses on the injection of propellant components, their mixing and combustion, the expansion of hot gases in the engine nozzle and the thermal stresses on combustion chamber structure. Gaining a better understanding of these processes is a basic prerequisite for optimising the design of future engines.

DLR Lampoldshausen within the region – the Technology Transfer Centre

In November 2000, the Technology Transfer Centre (Technologie-Transfer-Zentrum; TTZ) was jointly founded by DLR, regional business development agencies, the Heilbronn Chamber of Commerce, the Heilbronn Chamber of Trade and Hardthausen Municipal Council. DLR hopes that the TTZ will provide regional businesses, in particular, with a forum for feeding the results of research into industry. After all, many of the topics studied as part of fundamental research at Lampoldshausen will also be of interest to other economic sectors. Efficient transfer of knowledge and technological developments from aerospace to industrial production mean that research also pays off in the form of economic growth. The TTZ facilitates such transfers by holding seminars, colloquia and conferences.

Institutes and facilities on site

  • Anke Kovar
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Site Man­age­ment Stuttgart and Lam­pold­shausen
    Telephone: +49 711 6862-311
    Fax: +49 711 6862-636
    Pfaffenwaldring 38-40
    70569 Stuttgart
  • Anja Kaboth
    Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Lam­pold­shausen
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Me­dia Re­la­tions
    Telephone: +49 6298 28-201
    Fax: +49 6298 28-112
    Im Langen Grund
    74239 Hardthausen

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