ArianeGroup – Project Coordinator and Gridded-Ion-Thruster Experts

Project Coordinator and Gridded-Ion-Thruster Experts

Image: Orbital Propulsion Centre / DLR Lampoldshausen

The project GIESEPP MP partner ArianeGroup has an impressive heritage and impressive portfolio in the field of spacecraft and launch vehicle propulsion. It is gathered for more than 50 years. Although, ArianeGroup has more than 13 sites, 8 in France, 4 Germany and one in French Guiana, the work implemented on Lampoldshausen site located in Germany historically contributed the most to the innovations and advancements of electric propulsion systems.

Lampoldshausen site

Since more than 50 years ArianeGroup Lampoldshausen is the leading site for the development, production and test of orbital propulsion systems and components in Europe with hundreds of propulsion systems in space.

Prime contractors and system integrators worldwide benefit from the competitive portfolio of high-quality propulsion system solutions for:

  • Telecommunication platforms
  • Earth Observation missions
  • Scientific and Interplanetary missions
  • Exploration and man-rated missions

The constant development of propulsion engineering and MAIT capabilities through highly qualified employees, combined with the systematic investment in key technologies and the required (AIT) infrastructure provides the basis for the Orbital Propulsion Center of Excellence in Lampoldshausen.

Complete range of products, equipment and services

ArianeGroup covers a complete range of products, equipment and services related to orbital propulsion, from chemical monopropellant systems for smaller satellites to chemical bipropellant systems for larger platforms and electric propulsion systems for future platforms. All key components of AG´s orbital propulsion systems (thrusters, apogee engines, propellant tanks and fluidic equipment) are produced in-house ArianeGroup.

At ArianeGroup customers find a single point of contact for the entire orbital propulsion system product and project life cycle. ArianeGroup provides complete customer support after the hardware delivery, including launch support and post-launch services (e.g. LEOP, IOT).


ArianeGroup Competences – All about Orbital Propulsion Systems

One-stop-supplier for orbital propulsion system solutions

Besides the propulsion related capabilities, the Lampoldshausen site enlarged its competencies in the area of propulsion related thermal control systems, harness and structure elements. Today a worldwide customer base relies on ArianeGroup Lampoldshausen as a versatile and experienced one-stop supplier for orbital propulsion system solutions of any kind.

The site is tooled up with all facilities, types of machinery, equipment, clean-rooms, sea-level and vacuum hot-fire test-stands, data acquisition storage and evaluation facilities to design, analyse, produce and testing propulsion flight hardware. Integration of propulsion systems into spacecrafts and manufacturing of necessary GSE are done here as well as the production of mobile tanking equipment for propellant loading into spacecrafts at launch-sites.

There is a network of the latest CAD workstations, automatic lathes and milling machines, electron beam welding machine, pipe bending machine, vacuum leak test systems, eleven clean benches class 6 or better, and assembly clean rooms class 7 (ISO 14644-1). A number of vacuum hot fire test stands are available for the operation of monopropellant, bipropellant and electric thrusters at various thrust levels. Two complementary independent hot firing test stands are available for acceptance and qualification tests of chemical propulsion and one for electric propulsion. All facilities are equipped with mechanical vacuum pumps, where each of them is in the position to maintain continuous vacuum for thruster firing. Thus, periodic pump maintenance or an unexpected pump failure may not cause interruption of a test campaign. ArianeGroup manufacturing and vacuum hot fire facilities allow for an annual production of about 400 small bipropellant thrusters and a double-digit amount of electric thrusters. The propulsion facilities are continuously maintained on state-of-the-art.

Manufacture and integration building at the Lampoldshausen site (Germany).

Manufacture and integration building at the Lampoldshausen site (Germany). 

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