Enlighten project

The space sector is a source of economic growth, jobs and exports, participating in all Key Strategic Orientations of the EU strategic plan. Faced with growing competition and technological disruption it is vital to act in support of European space launcher development in order to preserve European independendant access to space.

Confronted with smaller market than competitors and lower launch prices, European launchers must improve their competitiveness by halving launch price in the short term. In the long term, Europe will create common building blocks for an integrated and competitive European array of launchers of all scales with reusability functionalities.

Europe must thus concentrate efforts on liquid propulsion system which can be half of the launcher cost and is an critical for reusability.

In the frame of ENLIGHTEN (European iNitiative for Low cost, Innovative & Green High Thrust Engine), the consortium will strive to increase the competitiveness of european High thrust engine by preparing a demonstrator of Green High Thrust Engine based on Liquid Hydrogen using:

  • The latest advances in additive manufacturing to reduce the cost and number of engine parts
  • Edge AI & machine learning algorithm to develop the first space engine Health Monitoring System in Europe necessary to implement reusability
  • New low cost subsystems in Engine ignition, nozzle extension, valves and integrated flexible lines

This future demonstrator, ENLIGHTEN, will achieve its goal of developing new technologies, would be tested in the frame of a future project in the High Thrust Engine P5 test facilities of DLR.

ENLIGHTEN will achieve its goal to lower the cost of launch engines with its consortium mixing aerospace actors like ArianeGroup, AVIO, DLR and ONERA with start ups and SME working on ALM and AI as well as research organization/academia such as FraunHofer and KU Leuven and will rely on AZO to ensure dissemination of the results to benefit all industries of the EU.

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