Half of the time at my home department Rotors have passed. At this department, GKN develops turbines for Europe’s rocket program Ariane. Apart from constantly delivering components for Europes current rocket program Ariane 5, my department develops and prepares components for the upcoming Ariane 6, with first launch planed 2020, and the project PROMETHEUS, as described below. Since I false started my time at GKN in June already, I had already been at this department for a few months when I started the graduate program.
Earlier this summer I was involved in a pre-study within the PROMETHEUS-project. This French owned and newly started project has the goal to develop a methane driven rocket. Like all other space related projects, the PROMETHEUS project has a forced abbreviation that sounds ”Precursor Reusable Oxygen METHan cost Effective engine”. You keep wonder, what happened to the ”U” and the ”S”? My part of the project involved investigating initial design concepts and estimate how reasonable our customers technical requirements are. Very exciting task!
After the initial training weeks of the graduate program, I returned to my home department and started working within the Vinci-project. Within the Vinci-project GKN is responsible for both design and production for both turbines in Ariane 6’s first and second stage engines called Vulcain 2.1 and Vinci. The turbines provides power to drive the engine’s two fuel pumps, used for devlivering high pressurized fuel to the engines combustion chamber. Unlike the PROMETHEUS-project, Vinci is in a qualification phase where we as turbine providers must show that our product fulfils the engines technical specification. The qualification phase involves tight collaboration between production, testing engineers and CAE-analysts. My role within the project deals with prediction of turbine performance as a function of production deviations. Interesting!
PS. How do you organize a space party? You planet!