The VIRIATO Project intends to qualify the national industry for the development of a future Portuguese micro-launcher.

Project name: VIRIATO: Innovative Reusable Vehicle for Research and Leverage of Orbital Technology

Project summary: The VIRIATO project aims to develop, integrate and operate a sub-orbital vehicle for validation and testing of fundamental technologies for a future development of a Portuguese microsatellite launcher that will operate, preferably, from the future space port of Santa Maria, Azores. The final purpose of developing a Portuguese micro-satellite launcher is to provide Portugal and Europe with a robust, cheap and ecological solution to access the micro-satellite launch market, which will be one of the great vectors of space development in the coming years. Taking into account the diversity of areas involved, a consortium was put together (Figure 1) that encompasses a relevant fraction of the national space industry, with demonstrated competences in key areas such as space propulsion, flight avionics, high-performance structures and space support equipment. operations. In this way, this consortium ensures the existence of relevant experience and know-how of its human resources in the area of research and development of technologies, but also the existence of equipment and infrastructure that will facilitate the successful execution of the project.

Project code: POCI-01-0247-FEDER-046100

Intervention regions: North, Center and Alentejo


Start date: 7/1/2021

Completion date: 06-30-2023

Total eligible cost: 5,885,598.28 EUR

Financial support from the European Union: 4,269,773.82 EUR

Total AEDCP eligible cost: €150,372.68

Financial support from the European Union AEDCP: €90,223.61

Project objectives:

  • Develop and integrate tanks in composite material for storage and propulsion of a sub-orbital vehicle, using cryogenic propellants such as oxygen and liquid methane;
  • Develop and formulate new materials with very low permeability by modifying and improving the base materials used, such as fiber or resin;
    Develop a manufacturing process compatible with the formulated materials and capable of obtaining tanks of considerable size;
  • Use of materials with less environmental impact, thus obtaining a product whose entire life cycle is designed in a sustainable way;
  • Identify and develop joining processes that respond to the needs and requirements of the operation;
    Minimize the mass, lead time and cost associated with components.
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