H2020 FALCon: Formation flight for in-Air Launcher 1st stage Capturing demonstration
Formation flight for in-Air Launcher 1st stage Capturing demonstration
The FALcon project is focused on further developing launch system reusability technologies and in particular the “in-air capturing” concept for the efficient retrieval of rocket stages with the aim of further lowering cost for the next generation of European launchers.
This innovative procedure proposed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) consists in capturing automatically a winged reusable stage by a transport aircraft while still in the air, and towing it back to the vicinity of its landing site.
The objective within the FALcon project is to further 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.
CFD simulations and wind tunnel tests will be performed at VKI in preparation for the “in-air-capturing” experimental flight demonstration, as well as full-scale “in-air-capturing” CFD simulations of formation flight.
Project start date: March 1st 2019
Duration: 36 months
EU grant: EUR 2 599 226,25
Project Coordinator: DLR
Partners: Astos Solutions Romania, DLR, Drone Rescue Systems, Embention, IMech-BAS, soft2tec, the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI)
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement no. 821953.