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High-performance COPV systems for large satellite platforms

News International-French

12 Apr 2011

Market analysis of satcom applications has revealed that satellite service providers in Europe have a growing need for new high-performance platforms providing a satellite power of about 18 kW and a payload capability of 1 to 3 tonnes.

(Published on June 2008 – JEC Magazine #41)


The basis for such high performance can be guaranteed by an optimised propulsion system that combines maximum load capacity with a minimum structural mass. As a result, the tank systems play a key role in terms of mass and propellant expulsion efficiency. As an experienced tank designer and manufacturer, MT-Aerospace was chosen as the tank system supplier. Today MT Aerospace AG supplies approx. 10% of the hardware for the European launcher ARIANE 5 and is the most important supplier for this program outside France. The related operations and maintenance sector on site in Kourou / French Guyana is responsible for the ARIANE 5 integration and launch facilities.


The most promising tank design is based on Carbon Overwrapped Pressure Vessels (COPV) which have been successfully developed and qualified at MT Aerospace through various R&D programmes. The thin-walled titanium liner ensures leak tightness and compatibility with the propellant fluids, while the carbon overwrap provides strength and stiffness. s uses its extensive experience in the spinforming technology to manufacture the thin-walled liner (thickness