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SPAce exploration Research for Throttleable Advanced eNgine (SPARTAN)
Start date: Mar 1, 2011, End date: Aug 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The SPARTAN research aims at developing a throttable propulsion technology, which is mandatorily needed for any planetary soft and precision landing. It relies on the hybrid engine technology, exploiting its capability of being throttled and its proper performances.This research is complementary to ESA TRP and Piedmont Regional development programs. It implements and strengthens the technological base in view of the future robotics and manned space exploration missions.The outcomes from the SPARTAN development can be reflected also in many other Earth/Space civilian applications, exploiting both the throttling capability of the propulsion system and the peculiar characteristics of the hybrid engine technology, like: safety, minimum environmental impact (green propellants), lower life cycle costs, responsiveness, competitive Performances, increased reliability, soft ignition and shutdown. The hybrid propulsion system is formed by two major constitutors: the engine itself, housing the fuel, and the oxidizer injection system.The research focuses on three major objectives, needed to achieve the soft and precision landing capabilities: The engine design, specific for throttling functionality The oxidizer throttable device development The design of the landing case: test bench and testing proceduresDevelopment will be supported by establishing an advanced coding, enabling the definition of the fuel and the throttling behavior of the hybrid engine. Engine definition will be supported by development tests: cold injection case on subscale model, dedicated to the throttling device, and hot firing on lab model, merging the throttling device and the engine model.In parallel a landing test and associated landing model (flying test bed) will be developed, providing for proven landing model and landing test capabilities. These capabilities will allow demonstrating the soft landing features of a throttable hybrid propulsion technology.
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