SMILE (Small Innovative Launcher for Europe)
Industry (NL): Airborne Technology Centre, ISIS, BoesAdvies
Industry (EU): Terma, Nammo Raufoss, …
Research organisations: NLR, DLR
Budget en looptijd
Total project budget: € 4.058.642
– Funded by TKI: € 150.000
Duration: 2016-01-01 to 2018-12-31
The market for small satellites is expected to increase substantially in the coming years, as shown in market analyses. The new generation ARIANE 6 and VEGA C launchers will guarantee Europe’s independent access to space for the high-end market of satellites in terms of mass and size with a competitive edge in the world market of launchers. These launchers however are significantly less attractive for classes of smaller satellites. The SMILE initiative addresses reliable, affordable, quick, and frequent access to space for the emerging market of small satellites up to 50 kg. Herewith, a market niche is addressed projected to grow significantly in the coming decades presently lacking availability of a dedicated European launcher.
The objectives of the proposed work therefore are:
- To design a concept for an innovative, cost-effective European launcher for small satellites;
- To design a Europe-based ground facility for small launchers based on the evolution of the existent sounding rocket launch site at Andøya Space Centre;
- To increase the TRL of critical technologies for low-cost European launchers;
- To develop prototypes of components, demonstrating this critical technology;
- To create a roadmap defining the development plan for the small satellites launcher system from a technical, operational and economical perspective.
These project objectives will aid Europe in providing the strategic prerequisites for independent access to space for small satellites, by designing a:
- Competitive European Launch Vehicle dedicated to small satellite launches
- Europe-based Launch Facility
Dutch companies, such as -but not limited to- ISIS and Airborne will benefit from such a launcher.