The PERSEUS’ project (Projet Etudiant de Recherche Spatiale Européen Universitaire et Scientifique/ University and Scientific European Student project of Space research) is an initiative of the Launch Directorate of CNES, the French Space Agency, to promote the emergence of innovative technical solutions of spatial projects with industrial and educational particularities, realized by students of higher education.
The project presents three main objectives, in order of priority:
1. Research for innovations and development of promising technologies, applicable to systems of space transportation;
2. Students, in an university or associative frame, are the main actors of these works. This educational initiative also develops their motivation for space careers;
3. Realization of a set of ground and flight demonstrators, allowing to establish a preliminary project file of a launch system of nanosatellites (from 10 to 50 kg).
Launched in June, 2005 at the International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget, this project presents numerous teams, from various engineering schools, universities, IUT (University Institute of Technology), etc. The projects led by students are supervised by teachers and followed by experts recognized by CNES and members of associations (AAAF, AJSEP, GAREF, Planète Sciences …). These projects are extended through demonstrators often operated by motivated, available and enthusiastic young people of aerospace associations (AeroIPSA, Octave from UEVE, Scube from ISAE, CLC from Centrale Lyon, etc.).
The coordination, animation and supervision tasks of this program are assured by the PERSEUS’ project site, piloted by CNES, implanted in places of the University of Evry-Val d’Essonne (UEVE), in partnership with Bertin Technologies, Roxel France, ONERA and MI-GSO for the industrial aspects, and with Planète Sciences and the GAREF for the associative aspects, the whole being governed through framework agreements.
To facilitate the integration of the student projects, the PERSEUS’ project settles comfortably in the rhythm of the school day, with two dates: a launch campaign in summer and a seminar in winter.
At the level of the PERSEUS’ project, like operational launchers, we speak about a system of launch and its sub-systems, such as propulsion, structure, aerodynamics, etc. The various systems and the sub-systems are grouped in macro-projects.
The studies on the concepts of nanosatellites launchers serve to supply hypotheses of departure for sub-systems technologies, the whole being framed by economic analyses and the international student watch. In order to achieve, software developments were realized. Four main decisions were taken regarding the development of innovative technological demonstrators: system architecture, propulsion, electric systems, structures and materials. They are the basis of the research for solutions and for innovative technologies which are demonstrated on the ground. They can be tested during flight on system demonstrators.
Two system demonstrators are at present proposed: an airborne launcher named EOLE serving as flying test bench to test various systems of separation and a family of experimental rockets named SERA to confront with the transsonic and supersonic’s regimes, essential steps mastered within the framework of operational launchers.