At 19:13 on December 29, CZ-2D Yao-41 Launch Vehicle was ignited at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
It successfully sent Tianhui-4 satellite to its proper orbit.
The launch task gained a complete success.
The space launch task of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology in 2021 was successfully completed.
“Golden Launch Vehicle” CZ-2D undertook the final task of the year
CZ-2D Launch Vehicle, which undertakes the final task of the year, is a room temperature liquid two-stage launch vehicle developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. It is characterized by high reliability, high safety, low cost, short launch cycle, etc. It has the ability to launch various types of satellites that can meet the requirements of different orbits, and can launch one satellite or multiple satellites with one launch vehicle. It has a takeoff thrust of 300 tons and a carrying capacity of 1.2 tons on the sun-synchronous orbit with a height of 700 km.
It is the first time for CZ-2D Launch Vehicle to adopt the “low-impact, high-accuracy, and pollution-free” double-satellite side-mounted distributor, which can meet the satellite requirements from all aspects. Both parties began with their technical exchanges from 2014 and put forward the requirements for developing the side-mounted satellite distributor. Besides the conventional functions such as reliable connection and safe separation, the distributor needs to realize more than ten other key indicators, each of which has a special requirement for ultra-high precision. For example: The deviation from the separation velocity is only 0.05 meter per second. The unlocking synchronization of four unlocking devices of a single satellite is no longer than 10 milliseconds. The unlocking synchronization of two satellites is no longer than 20 milliseconds and the separation shock is smaller than 2000g. But, the point connection shock of the satellites of the same order of magnitude is usually 5000g.
In order to understand the technology thoroughly, make steady progress, and ensure the safe and reliable separation of the newly developed satellite distributor, the model is developed in strict accordance with the development process. From the development of the principled sample machine, various tests, including the principle unlocking test, modal test of the satellite and adapter complex, multiple vibration tests, satellite and launch vehicle separation test, and distributor static test have been performed. On this basis, the reliability growth test was performed in strict accordance with relevant documents.
“In the seven years, we experienced the whole process from the investigations at home and abroad, preferential selection among multiple schemes, conceptual design, development of prototype sample, independent evaluation by peer experts, sample development to flight test together. Thanks to the thorough preparation and careful demonstration in the preliminary stage, the whole process goes on smoothly,” recalled Li Xinkuan, the structural designer of the distributor of 805 Institute. Finally, the distributor with the performance higher than the high-accuracy requirements of satellites was developed, which realized the function of separating two side-mounted satellites synchronously and symmetrically through coordinated unlocking of mechanism with no initiating explosive devices and no pollution on the separation interface. “Being responsible for the general assembly, in those years, we often communicated with the designers about the details of assembly, operation, and unlocking. It was common for us to work late at night. We want to ensure the product can perform well after it is launched,” said Zhangwei, the responsible person of the general assembly of distributor.
About 12 minutes after CZ-2D was launched, the satellite went to the intended orbit precisely, marking that the first job of the newly developed side-mounted satellite distributor gained a complete success. The “precise, integral, and rational” planning of the model development process plays a critical role. This has well demonstrated the scientific spirit to seek truth from facts and the craftsman spirit to keep improving in the aerospace culture, and accumulated valuable experience for the development of high-precision aerospace products.
It is the 57th launch of CZ-2D Launch Vehicle, the 150th launch of Long March launch vehicles which are developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology as well as the 404th launch of Long March launch vehicles. In this launch mission, Tianhui-4 Satellite is developed by Aerospace Dongfanghong Satellite Co., Ltd. which is subordinated to China Academy of Space Technology.
“Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division” boosting the high-quality development of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology in the field of launching
Along with the successful launch of CZ-4B launch vehicle on January 29, the high-density launch of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology in the field of launching in 2021 was formally started. In 2021, Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology successfully finished 25 launch tasks, which was a new record in its history. Despite the new record in the launching frequency, the development teams of all models of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology have been responding actively to the new technology form, continually optimizing the development process, abiding by the quality requirements strictly, and fully promoting the high-quality development with high-quality leaders, high-quality talents, and high-level assessment standards.
To add in technical improvements
In 2021, Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology made breakthroughs in and realized applications of various key technologies in the field of launching, which has filled the gap at home. New technologies and new products such as the independent power distribution with lithium batteries, autonomous aiming and orientation on the launch vehicle, Single-dial optical fiber IMU, 64-bit carrier, etc. are used for the first time on CZ-4 and CZ-6 launch vehicles, and the system reliability is further improved through the system-level redundancy technology.
To be subtracted in process management
In 2021, Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology implemented the quality confirmation system for the launching models. While further strengthening the quality confirmation system at the launching site, it put more efforts on the control of product development quality. It reduced repetitive checks and long reports through quantification and tabulation of process data. The quality confirmation system for release evaluation was firstly used on CZ-6 launch vehicle. Meanwhile, Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology also established the digital management system at the launching site and applied it to different models in launching. Through digital techniques, the field work record can be completely integrated with the quality confirmation system, making the work at the launching site more precise, more normalized and more intelligent.
To be multiplied in benefit improvement
In 2021, Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology actively explored the business development models in the field of launching. New configurations were developed through continuous researches to CZ-2D launch vehicle as driven by the user tasks. CZ-2D Yao-53 launch vehicle carried a disc configuration for the first time, which has broken the restriction on satellite quantity and envelope in the former side-mounted carrying mode. In this way, it can carry and launch 10 satellites at most instead of 5 satellites in the past. This can meet user’s diversified demands to the greatest extent, and can well adapt to the flexible and economical development trend of commercial satellites. In the first trial of “car-pooling” launching, CZ-6 launch vehicle sent 9 satellites of 6 satellite companies to the intended orbit successfully. This has greatly improved the adaptability to tasks and market competitiveness of CZ-6 launch vehicles and laid a solid foundation for CZ-6 models to further expand the commercial satellite market.
To be divided in products and personnel appointment
In 2021, on the basis of de-mission of the first sub-stage of the launch vehicles in active services in the field of launching, Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology further strengthened the productization in the field of launching. It carried out the model unification work of satellite fairing, valves etc. and made a big step to generalization of single unit, de-modeling of sub-stages and de-mission of models. By doing so, it has gradually reduced the categories of products and equipment, and improved the efficiency, benefits and reliability of the products. In the meanwhile, Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology also set up the first full-time launch vehicle testing and launching team in China which has the ability for performing integrated tests of launch vehicles, range tests and launching independently. CZ-4 Yao-36 launch vehicle is the first outcome of the full-time testing and launching team. According to the statistics, after the full-time testing and launching model is adopted, the test period of a single launch vehicle can be shortened by 1.5 days, and the number of people at the test post can be reduced by 30%. So far, the full-time launch vehicle testing and launching team of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology has successfully performed 6 launch tasks.