WEPA-Technologies did visit ‘SpacePropulsion 2016’ conference (http://www.propulsion2016.com/ ) in Rome / Italy (05/02 – 05/06).
About 800 international participants did visit the conference – a broad range of topics has been covered in plenary sessions and presentations:
In contrast to SpacePropulsion 2014, this year the need to design to “low cost” has been fully recognized during the high level plenary discussion at by all big players. Especially interesting has been, that partial and even full reusability of propulsion units or at a later time complete stages has been discussed as an rewarding option to cut cost drastically. Achievements of “NewSpace Companies” as for example SpaceX, Blue Origin (both USA) had been acknowledged explicitly and seem to have inspired new approaches.
CEO Dr. Weuta gave a presentation about current developments at WEPA-Technologies in the field of propulsion technology (“Low Cost Liquid Propulsion Systems for Launch-, InSpace- and SpaceTourism Applications”)
Discussions with several parties after the presentation did show strong interest in WEPA’s present activities to evaluate the use of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials in LPRE-thrust chambers using transpiration cooling. Furthermore the use of journal bearing in turbo pumps to enhance lifetime and reliability of this critical component has been of high interest. These approaches are being evaluated together with DLR and do show a high potential to generate re-usable systems. (DLR is developing CMC-based materials and applications for about 20 years.)
The presentation can be downloaded below.