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Ariane 6 completes long-duration hot-fire test

On November 23, 2023, the Ariane 6 Launcher project team successfully completed a long-duration hot-fire test on the launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Part of a combined test campaign, the 7 minutes of sustained, stabilized operations is an important milestone. Representative of a complete launch sequence, the test is a validation of the entire flight phase of the Ariane 6 core stage and contributes to the formal qualification of the launch sequence operations.

Ariane 6 is the next generation of Launcher, built under a programme that is managed and funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The new Launcher features several technological breakthroughs and world firsts, including the fact that the Ariane 6 is the first space launcher to utilize fiber optic based “opto-pyro” technology for its critical functions, such as ignition, separation, passivation and neutralization.

(Photo: An image showcasing the Ariane 6 launcher in flight)

ID Quantique is proud to be a part of this revolutionary project. Our high-performance OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometry) technology sits at the heart of the integrity and performance monitoring system for the fiber optic network of all Ariane 6 launchers. The ID281 SNSPD, the ID900 Time Controller and the ID300 Pulsed Laser Source provide highly efficient single-photon detection and unrivalled sensitivity and spatial resolution. IDQ’s equipment is used during the assembly of the launchers as well as on the launch pad prior to each launch.

In 2019, IDQ was awarded with an A-ranking by ArianeGroup as part of its supplier evaluation programme. This recognised the significant performance improvements achieved to meet the long-term aerospace industry requirements.

There is a lot of excitement amongst the IDQ team, as we all look forward to the inaugural flight of the European launcher, scheduled for 2024.

For further information, visit the European Space Agency website, or read the Ariane 6 Press Release in full.

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