Rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies and engineering group SENER Aeroespacial will; work together to develop an Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) for Gilmour’s Eris launch vehicle.
The AFTS is a smart hardware and software unit with autonomous decision-making capacity.
It is a critical system which is responsible for aborting a flight if any anomalies are identified.
SENER Aeroespacial is working on the first phase of the project, developing the software processing algorithms necessary to collect and analyse the flight and vehicle parameters, identify deviations from the nominal trajectory and the status of the vehicle.
If necessary the system will send the command to terminate the mission.
The goal is to have the first prototype ready, in collaboration with Gilmour Space, for testing and certification prior to Eris’ maiden launch later this year.
According to Gilmour: “The project aim is to successfully develop and demonstrate equivalence to current land-based systems in terms of performance and reliability, providing launch service providers and government launch organisations the ability to replace legacy systems which rely on costly land facilities and require manual operator intervention to terminate the mission.”
SENER Aeroespacial believes the AFTS will enable more launches from places other than traditional launch centers as well as lowering the cost of operations.
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