At the beginning of February 2020 Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation in a consortium with PZL Mielec, has started the implementation of the project <40 liters per monopropellant [MDT40], funded by the European Space Agency. The project is being carried out at the Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation in the Space Technologies Department (Space Technologies Center), acting as the project coordinator.

The project allows the development (up to PDR – TRL4) of <40L monopropellant tank compatible with standard propellants (Hydrazine, and additionally Hydrogen Peroxide or LMP-103S). The objective of this project is to develop and implement Friction Stir Welding (FSW) technology for fuel tank production, and detailed investigation of performed welds. The process of designing, development and testing of technologies for manufacturing the tank and friction welding is aimed at identifying technological and design constraints and as a result, could be successfully used for cost reduction in the future production. This action enables introduction of a competitive product on the European market.

The scope of the project includes:

  • requirements review for small mission fuel tanks,
  • preliminary fuel tank design,
  • manufacturing technology investigation,
  • technology preparation for dedicated material,
  • pressurized tank manufacturing,
  • NDI tests,
  • functional, static and fatigue tests.

The consortium includes Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp. z o.o. (PZL Mielec). Planned activities include manufacturing documentation preparation, AIT tools identification and design or reuse of existing equipment. During the project, PZL Mielec will establish quality control procedures. During testing, the use of NDI technology with X-ray, ultrasonic, pressure control test and long-term leakage test is planned.

Project coordinator: Kamil Sobczak, MSc Eng.
Phone: (+ 48) 22 846 00 11 ext. 505
E-mail: kamil.sobczak[at]
Project duration: 02.02.2020 – 31.05.2022
Funding institution: European Space Agency
Programme name: ESA – PLIIS

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