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  • A French study on air breathing launchers: STAR-H

    Paper ID



    • M. Rigault


    Avions Marcel Dassault-Bréguet Aviation






    7 5 part of the French effort to assess the trends of future space transportation systems, Dassault (AMD-BA) is conducting for CNES a study on TSTO (two stages to orbit) airbreathing launchers (STAR-H), using data coming from a parallel study on hypersonic propulsion performed by SNECMA, SEP and ONERA. During a first step, this study concentrates on a concept using a recoverable airbreathing first stage and an expendable second stage, concept already presented in the 60s, but allowing to analyse a reference vehicle within reasonable hypotheses on future technological progress. Analyses performed deal with the main technical areas in order to identify the critical items and drive the future work on concept definition and enabling technologies. Most of the work concentrated on aerodynamics/ aerothermodynamics, structure and materials, propellant storage and management, safety aspects and trajectories. fig. 1 - TAS 1 (1964 - 1966) Sensitivity analyses have also been performed for the main design parameters, including propulsion characteristics. First conclusions have been derived from these analyses. This work focused on a relatively conservative concept, shows the potential benefits of the airbreathing launchers, notably the operational flexibility, but also the very difficult technical challenges to be mastered before these launchers become operational and competitive against current launchers.