Embention and FALCon – Drones Information


The FALCon project arises from the cooperation of the German Aerospace Center with Embentionand other institutions such as the Institute for Mechanical Engineering of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Drone Rescue Systems from Austria, soft2tec from Germany, the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium and Astos Solutions from Romania. Everyone is working together on a joint project that will see the light of day in 2035. And that proposes to revolutionize the vision of the environmental and economic costs of the aerospace industry.

The FALCon project should make this possible Reuse the first stage boosters in space operations. Through an advanced flight detection system and towing to the landing station. To this end, the system uses the latest drone technology to emulate the expected behavior during real rocket launch processes.

This reusable launcher concept would use a winged first stage with gliding capabilities to perform controlled reentry and safely return the missiles to the ground.

Main elements:

The system consists of 3 main elements:

  • First stage booster: modified with an innovative winged design to enable controlled planing and sinking.
  • Capture system: It enables the detection of the shuttle flight using an advanced relative positioning system.
  • Towing platform: responsible for towing the shuttle to the landing point. Release it once in the landing zone so that the shuttle can land autonomously.

Embention & FALCon project

In the early stages of the project, Embention is responsible for creating a full-scale model of this recoverable winged fuel module. With the development of this model, Embention faces several challenges:

  • Draft of a scale airplane. This high-speed drone must have flight capabilities similar to the full range of the RLV (Reusable Launch Vehicle) model.
  • Fully autonomous flight with altitudes over 5000m.
  • Controlled sliding phase to facilitate the in-flight capture that will take place at 150 km / h.
  • Switch off the on-board turbine and start again to simulate the different flight phases.

All of this is achieved thanks to Embention’s extensive experience in developing unmanned systems and the versatility of Veronte autopilot, one of the most advanced flight control systems for UAVs on the market. All of these developments are carried out according to the strictest safety standards in the aerospace industry to ensure the reliability of the system and the safety of operations.

FALCon the “rocket receiver”

In March 2019, DLR, together with all participating companies and institutions, named their project as “Missile receiver“. The mission of this consortium is to provide simulations and controlled flight tests with relevant scale models to ensure the long-term execution of the FALCon project in full.

The name of the project is inspired by the name of his bird of the same name “Falcon”diving to catch smaller species.

The budget for the first phase of the project is 2.6 million euros. The use of remote controlled vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones, has significantly reduced development costs while controlling the risks during flight tests of this technology demonstrator.

Realizing this project in the not distant future would mean a significant notorious waste that is being abandoned and lost in the space ecosystem.


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