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  • Developments on Low Cost Manufacturing Methods for Cylindrical Launcher Structures

    Paper number



    Mr. Daniel Zell, Germany, MT Aerospace AG



    Due to the increasing international competition and growing pressure to lower costs in the launcher segment, enhanced technologies and competences for efficient development and production methods have to be evolved.
    In this paper, an innovative technology developed over the last few years at MT Aerospace AG with collaboration from NASA Langley Research Center, ESA HQ FLPP Team and Lockheed Martin in the field of manufacturing processes for the launcher application is presented. The so-called β€œISC” (Integrated Stiffened Cylinder) manufacturing method was first investigated in 2010. Early results indicated a high mass saving potential for the cylinder production of launcher systems using the ISC method. More recently, cost-benefit studies conducted at NASA Langley and MT Aerospace estimated up to 50% reduction in manufacturing costs is possible compared to conventional multi-piece, welded fabrication methods. As the most prominent result of these development efforts, a cylinder structure manufactured in the ISC method had its maiden flight in 2015 on a Black Brant sounding rocket at NASA Wallops Flight Facility. Based upon these promising results, a collaboration between ESA, NASA and Lockheed Martin has led to a manufacturing test campaign at MT Aerospace in 2018 with the objective to prove the feasibility of the fabrication method on a launcher representative scale with a diameter of 3 m.
    This paper summarizes the status and relevant results of the performed manufacturing test sequence of the ISC cylinder manufacturing method. Moreover, an outlook will be given on further planned activities and development steps.
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-19,D2,5,5,x52588.pdf (πŸ”’ authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.