The space activities at KONGSBERG started in 1990 with the development of the Ariane 5 Booster Attachment and Release Mechanisms (DAAV/DAAR).
The Ariane 5 booster, more than 30 m high with 237,8 metric tons of propellant, delivering more than 90 % of
the total thrust and burn for 130 seconds, is attached to the main stage by Kongsberg attachment and separation mechanisms, the DAAV&DAAR.
The DAAV high performance spherical bearings, included in a highly sophisticated mechanism, transmit the loads from the Ariane 5 booster motor (EAP) to the Ariane 5 main stage (EPC) throughout the booster life.
The DAAR struts transfer the lateral loads between the main stage and the boosters. At separation pyrotechnical devices cuts the two forward attach DAAV and the six DAAR struts and the booster can separate from the main stage.
Kongsberg is responsible for the design, production, test and delivery of the mechanisms. The development started in 1990 with qualification in 1995, all design and test activities including functional, structural, vibration and pyrotechnical cutting tests was performed at Kongsberg.
Since 1995 Kongsberg has had serial production of the DAAV and DAAR and more that 70 flight sets has been delivered and the deliveries are on-going.
Kongsberg is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the Nozzle Extension Deployment
Mechanism (MDD) for the new upper stage rocket engine, VINCI, for future version of the Ariane 5. The Vinci Engine is a key development in the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution program to increase pay load capacity from 10 to 12 ton to Geo Transfer Orbit (GTO)
The introduction of a deployable nozzle extension on the Vinci engine provides a 5 % increase in engine thrust with a corresponding payload increase.
During the flight phase of Ariane 5, the nozzle is locked in stowed position by a locking arrangement in the unit.
The deployment is initiated by command from the Ariane 5 control unit. The MDD is from this moment fully autonomous and controls the deployment sequence. The total deployment is 1,83m.