Two-Stage project 2015-2016 : « Kerberos »

KerberosKerberos is a project managed by the Supaero Space Section within the Perseus Program of CNES. An instrumental rocket and technological demonstrator, it does not look for performance, but it allows to test and to validate concepts and protocols, in flight as on ground. The results from Kerberos will add supplementary tools for the better understanding of the problems of the future two-stage rockets’ launchers like SERA4. It is in this way that Kerberos sums up the difficulties exposed during the C’Space with those from SERA rockets line.

This project is realized in collaboration with the CNES, the ONERA, the GAREF, Sciences Planet and IPSA.

Launch is predicted for July 2016, from the site of the Earth Army champ Gers, near Tarbes during the C’Space organized by Planet Sciences.

The Rocket

Measuring 4.30 meters long and 25 kg weight, this two-stage rocket has in the first stage a solid powder propeller of seventy five mm of diameter. This one will take the rocket to an altitude of 8 meters, altitude in which both stages will separate.

Equipped with a second fictive stage, the objectives during the flight of this rocket are:

    • Do again the measures of pressure in the low part of the second stage after the separation. (SSIE) developed for and tested by Hydra launcher.
    • Validate the ignition of the engine during the flight.

Moreover, after the analysis of the flight data given by the inertial centrals, the trajectory of the rocket will be reconstructed. It will be possible to study the impact of the separation and of the engine’s ignition on the trajectory.

In anticipation of the second-stage engine, one supplementary goal has been fixed, concerning the security of the pyrotechnician during the assemblage two-stage rocket’s phases.

  • Automatic assemblage of the two stages of the rocket without the invertion of the pyrotechnician, once the engines are started.

Two-stage Rocket Manipulation System’s Conception (SMB)

This system answers to the fixed objective concerning the security of the pyrotechnician. The SMB is composed of an moving arm thanks to two pneumatic jacks. The choice of a pneumatic system has been done to eliminate the risk of activating the engines during the assemblage of the rocket’s two stages.


The team

Kerberos’ tean is composed by different poles :

  • Project Management (Project Chief : Romain GASPARINI – Second year student of ISAE-SUPAERO)

Role : To coordinate the different poles, to assure the respect of the deathlines fixed in the agenda and to be the intermediary contact among the different collaborators.

  • Electrical sous-systems (responsable : Anthony Henrique – Student at Paul Sabatier University Toulouse)

Role : To do the whole rocket’s architecture and to work on the data acquistion ( cameras, pression captors, inertial measurement unit).

  • Mechanical sous-systems (responsable : Nicolas Narçon Supaero – Second year student of ISAE-SUPAERO)

Role : To conceive the global rocket’s architecture and to verify each mechanical-element insertion.

  • Backup-Performance Pole (responsable : Lucien Perdu – Second year student of ISAE-SUPAERO)

Role : To verify that the rocket respects the C’Space criteria for performance, stability and trajectory in the nominal case as in the critic cases.

Other project’s collaborators

The Supaero Space Section has differents collaborators in this project.

Kerberos project is led under CNES’ supervision, who fix goals and planning, and validates the new systems.

Moreover, ONERA offers technical support in advising and makes available all its means to the students working on the project. For example, the engines are tested on ONERA’s test-beds. These practical-handlings are perfect occasions for students to exchange ideas over the ignition procedures, engines dimensioning problems or the ignition automatic-fixation system.

GAREF provides the electric systems.

IPSA makes the two-stage pneumatic separation system.

Planète Sciences organise the C’Space, during this event the rocket is launched. Because of this, Planète Science fix the requirements specification in security: powder quantity, trajectory, ramp-leaving speed, etc.