The Slovenia Times

Dewesoft provides measurement system for Ariane 6 rocket

Science & Technology
Ariane 6 flight model. Photo: ESA

Dewesoft, a company based in Trbovlje in central Slovenia, has provided the measurement systems for the Ariane 6 rocket, which will be launched into space by the European Space Agency (ESA) on 9 July.

Dewesoft, which manufactures test and measurement equipment, has been working with ESA for several years on various projects, including Ariane 6, for which they have provided measurement equipment for testing thrusters.

"The development of the engines took several years, and initially they used measurement systems from other manufacturers, which were upgraded with ours and then finally completely replaced with Dewesoft systems," Dewesoft's project manager Matic Lebar said.

"They carried out several tests, each one costing a lot of money, and it was very important that no data was lost, which we and our equipment managed to provide," he added.

ESA used Dewesoft's Sirius and Krypton measurement systems to test the rocket engine. The company says these are instruments that can measure virtually any physical quantity, provide high sampling rates and capture data in the most demanding environmental conditions.

The company's measurement equipment measures analogue and digital input signals of accelerations, pressures, material expansion, vibrations, temperatures and many other parameters, the capture and control of which are essential for a successful rocket launch.

The equipment is also installed on the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana, and the control centre uses Dewesoft software to capture, decode and display telemetry data.

Historic project

The launch of the most powerful ESA rocket ever is scheduled to take place on 9 July at 3pm local time or 8pm CET.

This is a historic project that will give Europe autonomous access to space, Dewesoft stressed. The development of the Ariane 6 rocket cost around €4.5 billion.

Dewesoft's deal with ESA on the Ariane 6 project is valued at more than €1 million, the company told the Slovenian Press Agency. The project is not finalised yet.

Dewesoft is also working with ESA on other projects and believes that their cooperation will be further strengthened in the coming years.

The company also cooperates on some projects of the US space agency NASA, including the Artemis programme (launch pad monitoring), on the modernisation of the system monitoring the core systems of the Crawler transporter and on the upgrade of the telemetry processing station.

Ariane 6 is an attempt by ESA to join the global space technology race after lagging behind for some years now. Its predecessor, Ariane 5, flew into space for the last time after 27 years last July, carrying two satellites.

According to Dewesoft, the new generation of rockets has been developed by ESA to be more flexible and cheaper than its predecessor, allowing more launches per year. As a result, they expect to launch between six and 12 Ariane 6 rockets per year.

Slovenia will become a full member of ESA early next year, after Prime Minister Robert Golob and ESA director general Josef Aschbacher signed a full membership agreement in Paris in mid-June.

Slovenia has been cooperating with ESA since 2009 and signed the association agreement in 2016. Since then, more than 30 Slovenian partners have signed 114 contracts with ESA, worth some €42.1 million.


More from Science & Technology