The SMILE project (Small Innovative Launcher for Europe, [Horizon2020-framework]) WEPA-Technologies is participating in, has been officially announced at the European Space Solutions Conference in The Hague on May 31st by Mrs. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Member of European Parliament).
Visitors did have the chance to obtain firsthand information about the objective of the project by visiting the SMILE-booth. Beside other members, WEPA-Technologies did exhibit a poster summarizing key points of their activities to develop turbo pumps as some of its expertises introduced into the project.
Information about SMILE project:
Current launchers (ARIANE6 and VEGA C) will guarantee
Europe’s independent access to space for the high-end satellite market. These launchers however are significantly less attractive for classes of smaller satellites.
The SMILE initiative therefore addresses reliable, affordable, quick and frequent access to space for the emerging market of small satellites up to 50 kg, fulfilling the needs from the European space RTD community and commercial initiatives to put satellites into preferred orbits within a preferred time window. Herewith a market niche is addressed, which is projected to grow significantly in the coming decades and presently lacks availability of a European launcher.
The project focuses on research and innovation to obtain European solutions enabling the development and realization of such a launcher system. Main objectives are to:
• develop a concept for an innovative, cost-effective European launcher system for small satellites (target price below 50.000 Euro/kg)
• design a Europe-based ground facility for these launcher systems
• increase the Technology Readiness Level of several critical technologies required for such a launcher including the development and demonstration of component prototypes
• create a roadmap defining the development plan for the launcher system from a technical operational and economical perspective
These objectives are achieved through combined research into a novel and innovative launcher system following a multidisciplinary concurrent engineering design and optimization approach. The overall design and development process encompasses technology and process advances aiming at cost reduction, such as series production, re-usability, and the applicability of European industrial grade components.
The consortium is composed of organizations in relevant fields from eight European countries, from well-established and experienced SMEs to young and innovative start-ups.