25 May 2018

Ariane 6 to conquer space

At Air Liquide, the world leader in space cryogenics, Jesse is taking part in the development of the future European Ariane 6 rocket launcher. This is a colossal project that is aiming at replacing the Ariane 5 rocket and to provide Europe with a new, more competitive launcher by 2020.

« I’ve been working on the project since February as a Methods Engineer for the manufacture of liquid oxygen and hydrogen reserves for Ariane 6’s new satellite launcher.

I implement manufacturing processes for the cryogenic lines of the reservoirs: welding, stamping, sealing and injected insulation of the lines. Cryogenic propulsion has many advantages in terms of reliability, safety and technological maturity and ensures greater accuracy in putting satellites into orbit. At the same time, I am working on the placement of all these processes in the new building that will house the new launcher in order to ensure their smooth operation. Our aim: to demonstrate that this new launcher will be able to ensure a rate of 12 flights per year.

Welding is the first step in manufacturing cryogenic lines. Once I have received the welding machine, I will set up the welding parameters and validate the machine. The second step consists of testing the lines using stamping. For this step, I will formalise our requirements in our specifications and I will monitor the project and the setting up of a test bunker. I will then follow on with the airtightness test, during which I will validate the helium leak detector according to the acceptable size of leaks. The penultimate step for manufacturing the lines is the insulation. To achieve that, I have written supply specifications for an injection machine based on the necessary flow rate to fill the moulds in under 22 seconds, after which time the insulation material will solidify.

I am working with a dynamic team on a difficult subject. Respecting deadlines to ensure the project’s success is a real challenge that keeps me motivated! »

Jesse B., Methods Engineer