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Event

The DLR Reusability Flight Experiment – ReFEx

Veranstalter: ZARM Universität Bremen
Ort: ZARM Am Fallturm 2 - Raum 1730
Beginn: 16. Oktober 2019, 13:00 Uhr
Ende: 16. Oktober 2019, 14:00 Uhr

Dr. Peter Rickmers

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Space Systems, Bremen

The Reusability Flight Experiment is being developed by DLR to provide flight and design data on, as well as operational experience with, a winged first stage of a reusable launch vehicle. As such ReFEx will be a small technology demonstrator and is slated for launch in 2022. The experiment will be launched on a VSB-30 sounding rocket to altitudes and velocities similar to a first staging event and will then attempt a return flight along a trajectory comparable to a returning winged first stage RLV, transitioning from hypersonic speeds down to subsonic flight.

ReFEx is about 2.7 m in length, has a wingspan of about 1.1 m and has a mass of approx. 450kg. It is controlled by cold gas reaction system outside the atmosphere and later transitions to aerodynamic control surfaces. The maximum Mach number reached during the re-entry manoeuvre is about Mach 5. Besides being able to fly an optimised trajectory to reduce the thermal and mechanical loads, ReFEx demonstrates manoeuvrability by flying a turn of at least 30° with respect to the original heading measured from entry interface.

The key technologies demonstrated in this vehicle are, amongst others: aerodynamic design of a vehicle capable of stable flight through many flow regimes, guidance, navigation and control capable of on board generation of an optimised trajectory, the seamless transition between extra- and intra-atmospheric flight controls and health monitoring of the vehicle status during flight using advanced sensors such as Fiber Optic Sensors and Flush Air Data System.