von Karman Institute Lecture Series and Events

Online / On-site Lecture Series - In-air capturing device and reusable launchers

Monday 25 April 2022 - Wednesday 27 April 2022

 Caption_CFD simulation of the full-scale Aerodynamically Controlled Coupling Device

Caption: CFD simulation of the full-scale Aerodynamically Controlled Coupling Device


This lecture series is organized in the framework of the H2020 FALCon and RRTB projects. The project called FALCon for Formation flight for in-Air Launcher 1st stage Capturing aims to develop a technical concept for a 'rocket catcher' that is as detailed as possible, and to conduct tests using small demonstrators to test autonomous in-flight capture and towing. The RRTB project (Recovery and Return to Base) objectives are to validate the reentry of the first stage of the MESO microlauncher; To study and validate the novel EDF landing system and To develop robust and cost effective reusable structural systems & cryogenic tanks.

This lecture series will give you an overview of the development made on the key technology which is the efficient retrieval of rocket stages after launch, so that they can later be re-used for further launches. Lectures will be given by FALCon and RRTB partners from different work packages and by experts from other research groups working on similar topics focusing on in-air capturing but also other reusability solutions i.e. MESO project.

The DLR-led EU research project FALCon is being conducted in conjunction with Drone Rescue Systems, Embention, soft2tec, the von Karman Institute, the Institute of Mechanical Engineering at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Astos Solutions Romania as part of the EU Horizon 2020 research programme, under grant number 821953. VKI, Deimos Space and Pangea Aerospace are also partners of the RRTB project as part of the EU Horizon 2020 research programme, under grant number 870340.


Online / On-site Lecture Series

von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics

Waterloosesteenweg 72

B-1640 Sint-Genesius-Rode (near Brussels)


Parking places are available on the premises, just before the security fence.

To enter, please ring the bell at the fence.

Programme (UTC+2)

Monday April 25, 2022

08:00 Registration

08:30 Welcome address

09:00 Introduction to the LS and FALCON systems definition and requirements
Martin Sippel, DLR, Germany

10:15 Coffee Break

10:45 Recovery and return to base of the MESO microlauncher
Rasmus Bergstrom, Pangea Aerospace, Spain

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Systematic assessment of RLV return methods
Sven Stappert, DLR, Germany

15:15 Coffee Break

15:45 Piloting the European ecosystem: Reusability and In-air capture for access to space
Jean-Philippe Préaud, ESA, France

17:00 Reception

Tuesday April 26, 2022

09:00 Aerodynamic design including static and dynamic stability analysis
Silvania Lopes, von Karman Institute, Belgium; Sebastien Paris, von Karman Institute, Belgium; Alessandro Zamprotta, Pangea Aerospace, Spain

10:15 Coffee Break

10:45 Sensor data fusion and processing
Özgür Karatekin, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Belgium

12:30 Lunch

14:00 GNC and sub-scale simulations for IAC, Environment perception flight dynamics
Laurent Gilson, Soft2Tec, Germany; Alexander Funke, DLR, Germany; Sebastian Cain, DLR, Germany

15:15 Coffee Break

15:45 Advances in GNC for re-entry and landing phase of MESO launcher
Giovanni Medici, Deimos Space, Spain and Gabriele de Zaiacomo, Elcnor Deimos, Spain

Wednesday April 27, 2022

09:00 Aerodynamic vehicle design and mission analysis for the re-entry of MESO’s launcher first stage
Giovanni Medici, Deimos Space, Spain and Gabriele de Zaiacomo, Elcnor Deimos, Spain

10:15 Coffee Break

10:45 Full scale simulation of in-air-capturing
Sunayna Singh, DLR, Germany and Madalin Simioana, ASTOS Solutions, Romania

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Overview of the flight demonstrators + test demonstration for in-air capturing
Mario Ferrandiz, Embention, Spain

15:15 Coffee Break

15:45 Visit of the VKI Laboratories and Wind Tunnels

Eligibility Criteria

The citizens of the following countries are eligible to attend the von Karman Institute Lecture Series:

- EU member countries
- NATO member countries
- NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia)
- Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates)
- Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Montenegro, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, South-Africa and Vietnam.

VKI reserves the right to request a clearance check with Belgian authorities.

The participants will have to present their ID card (for EU citizens) or passport (for other citizens) the first day of the lecture series.

Fee and Registration

If you are not able to attend the lecture series on site, we offer you to attend it online. Nevertheless the price remains the same for an on-site or an online participation.

You will receive a 10% discount in case of online participation.

Early bird registration fee (until March 10, 2022 included)

Price for citizens of NATO countries

  Early registration Late registration
Undergraduate students 126 140
PhD students  378 420
Staff from recognized universities / research center 756 840
Staff from commercial organizations 907 1008


Price for citizens of other countries

  Early registration Late registration
Undergraduate students 180 200
PhD students  540 600
Staff from recognized universities / research center 1080 1200
Staff from commercial organizations 1296 1440

Information for PhD candidates and undergraduate students: To obtain the reduced price, the applicant must provide a recommendation letter from his or her professor; if not, the request will not be taken into consideration.

Registration Deadline

for on-site participation: April 12th, 2022

for online participation: April 19th, 2022 ( number of connections available: 250)


Special reduction

Rebates can be given for group subscriptions along the following scheme :

- 5 persons of the same organization -2%
- 10 persons of the same organization -5%
- 20 persons of the same organization -10%

No Location Specified