Dark Aerospace team celebrates 1st cryogenic test campaign success – SatNews


The company developed hardware that closely mirrored the flight design to maximize learning from the first cryogenic test campaign. Performance was validated and featured high-pressure, supercritical, co-swirl configuration, including ISP and Thrust use at a sea level nozzle; regenerative cooling performance with supercritical LCH4 injection was achieved as was ignition without engine chill-down. Throttling from 45 to 100% and Chugging exploration as well as liner reusability (cycling ignitions) was also achieved.

Key highlights included combustion efficiency, ranging from 98.2% at 50 bar to 🔥99.4% at 80 bar. Combustion stability was maintained +/- 0.9% pressure stability at flight conditions.

This campaign is a testament to Dark’s in-house methodology. The company’s numerical models are central to system engineering and highlights the firm’s efforts and desire to improve the design through test correlations:

Special thanks go to the team at German Aerospace Center (DLR) for their support during this test campaign and to Centre National d’Études Spatiales for their trust and contractual support. Dark also extends their gratitude to thir suppliers MMB VOLUM-e, Swagelok, AENIUM Kistler Group, PM instrumentation, ERCIAT, Aubert & Duval.

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