Polaris was awarded a contract worth $294,422 from the Bundeswehr to investigate the application of the Aurora spaceplane for reconnaissance missions.
The project RDRS (Rapid Deployable Reconnaissance System) is scheduled for a duration of 4 months and covers technical and operational characteristics of vehicle and mission, as well as regulatory and certification aspects.
The project also involves the investigation of the potential of using aerospike rocket engines for the Aurora spaceplane in cooperation with Institute of Aerospace Engineering of the Technische Universität Dresden.
Aerospike engines provide better performance compared to conventional engines. The project is also part of a pipeline to create the first ever reusable spaceplane flight demonstrator powered by an aerospike engine.
POLARIS develops the reusable Aurora spaceplane, based on initial concepts formulated at DLR in 2015-2018. Aurora is designed for aircraft-like take-off and landing on conventional runways anywhere in the world. The Aurora also features global autonomous ferry flight capability for operation base relocation.
The primary mission of the vehicle targets satellite launches in the 800-1000 kg payload class, allowing major launch cost reductions compared to conventional launchers, while fundamentally increasing flexibility, availability and safety.