Oerlikon to additively manufacture heat exchangers for Ariane 6 rocket launcher

June 20, 2023

June 20, 2023

Oerlikon AM will additively manufacture heat exchangers for the new Ariane 6 rocket launcher seen here under construction at the new Ariane 6 Launcher Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (Courtesy ESA-CNES-ArianeGroup-Arianespace / CSG Service Optique)
Oerlikon AM will additively manufacture heat exchangers for the new Ariane 6 rocket launcher seen here under construction at the new Ariane 6 Launcher Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (Courtesy ESA-CNES-ArianeGroup-Arianespace / CSG Service Optique)

ArianeGroup, headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, and Oerlikon AM, Pfäffikon, Switzerland, have signed an order worth up to €900,000 for the production of additively manufactured heat exchanger sets for the new Ariane 6 rocket launcher. The aluminium parts, to be produced by Oerlikon AM, will act as heat management devices for onboard equipment, enhancing the performance and flexibility of the new launcher.

The Ariane 6 launcher is seen as a crucial component for European space access, enabling the launch of satellites and high-tech payloads into orbit multiple times per year. It is expected to play a key role in Europe’s space activities, including scientific exploration, Earth observation, telecommunications, and national security. Designed for optimised flexibility and efficiency, the Ariane 6 is intended to provide a reliable and cost-effective means of launching a wide variety of payloads into space, including satellites.

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Oerlikon AM has reportedly worked very closely with the Ariane 6 technical team to ensure the heat management solution meets the most stringent technical specifications. During the development process, the team utilised key advantages of metal Additive Manufacturing, such as increased geometric freedom of design, minimal weight, and rapid lead times to ensure that the heat exchangers’ new, compact design fits perfectly into the limited installation space.

After its initial launch, Ariane 6 will reportedly take off several times per year into various orbits, including low Earth orbit, geostationary transfer orbit and sun-synchronous orbit. Thus, the heat exchanger sets were explicitly designed for serial production. Oerlikon AM is set to support ArianeGroup to meet their production requirements over the coming years, based on the forecasted demand for the rocket.

“Delivering components for Ariane 6 is an important milestone as we consolidate and expand our position as a reliable and innovative partner for serial parts in the space industry. Driving the industrialisation of class 2 and 3 space components is the prerequisite of our success. These products are already part of our product portfolio, taking us an important step further on our way to supplying the industry with flight-critical class 1 parts in very short term,” stated Hendrik Alfter, Managing Director of Oerlikon AM. “We are confident in our level of expertise and maturity, and further announcements on flight critical parts for launcher applications will follow soon: We have been working in close collaboration with our customers on these applications for a long time now.”



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June 20, 2023

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