ARTA - guaranteeing launcher reliability
ARTA’s overarching objective is to test specimen articles from the production line to ensure that they function nominally and to compare performance with the results of initial qualification, flights and tests.
ARTA also serves to test out planned enhancements. For example, the MPS is a first article of the booster that will fly in 2006. The technology tested is making it possible to reduce the MPS’s weight, thereby increasing the launcher’s payload lift capacity. Another change resulting from technology research work aims to reduce acoustic levels inside the motor.
BEAP test stand|
In addition to its launch pads, a launch base provides ground support equipment for testing of launcher elements. At the Guiana Space Centre, the BEAP test stand is designed to test the 2 boosters on Ariane 5’s solid booster stage. The BEAP is able to test articles in their flight position on the ground, withstanding 1,350 t of thrust—more than Ariane 5 with 2 MPSs!
Initial results of this 3rd test are excellent, even exceeding objectives—a reward for 2 years of manufacturing and planning efforts by teams to complete the test schedule on time.
* ARTA : Ariane Research and Technology Accompaniment programme