ZQ-2 Launcher Accomplished Its Control System and Engine Compatibility Test
LandSpace’s ZhuQue-2 (ZQ-2) launcher control system matched successfully with SkyLark (or TianQue) 80t-thrust-level LOX/LCH4 Liquid Rocket Engine (LRE) during the period of 9-13 May, 2020. Three gimballing hot-fire runs concluded successfully, making SkyLark the first large-thrust LOX/LCH4 LRE which verified the pump-rear gimballing technology test in the world.
“ZQ-2 is the first dual-cryogenic-propellant launch vehicle ever developed in China with fully-electromechanical servo technology”, quoted from a LandSpace launcher system engineer. Generally, a launch vehicle gimbals engines with highly-powered electromechanical servos for vectoring thrust, as to implement high-precision attitude and trajectory control. Skylark 80t-thrust-level LOX/LCH4 engine employs pump-rear gimballing configuration, technically surpassing conventional pump-front gimballing configuration by higher thrust-to-weight ratio, more compacted structure, and lower moment requirement on servos.
This round of hot fires verified the compatibility between the engine and high-power servo via varying the gimballing angle, frequency and waveform, acquired critical parameters, e.g. static and dynamic characteristics of the engine servo system, resulting in another significant milestone of ZQ-2 launcher development.
For the purpose of covering ZQ-2 flight mission envelope, ±8°max gimballing angle within the frequency range of 0~20Hz was tested with different input waveforms of sine, triangle and square, which was under more severe operational condition than the nominal. The entire test matrix was conducted successfully.
After the engine’s system-level long-duration hot-fire runs, this round of tests lead to another breakthrough for SkyLark 80t-thrust-level LOX/LCH4 engine and ZQ-2 launcher system development.
The lead engineer of LandSpace’s propulsion technology claimed that this success is the first verification test of the launcher’s engine system and control system compatibility, which means the flight configuration of the engine has been confirmed and ZQ-2 has stepped in to joint compatibility test phase after all single-engine tests succeeded, building a solid technical base of ZQ-2’s maiden flight.