The Vega C development program has achieved another important milestone on the path towards the first flight in 2019. After the first successful Vibration Test performed in mid-2018 on the Vega C fourth stage, on November 15th, 2018 at ESA Test Facility in Noordwijk (The Netherlands) the UCMEC Shock Test has been successfully completed by the Avio Team. This was the second test out of the three planned in the UCMEC Test Campaign, the third and last one (an Acoustic Test) will be performed on March 2019 when the new Payload Fairing will be delivered.
The UCMEC is an acronym that stands for Upper Composite MEChanical model. Depending on the test configuration, it is mainly composed of the AVUM+ (VEGA C fourth stage) and the upper composite (Payload Fairing, Vampire Payload Adapter and Payload Dummy).
The test carried out two weeks ago consisted in an Horizontal Separation of the Payload Fairing. After the introduction of new sub-systems, the goal of the test was to characterize the shock environment on the Launcher and, in particular, at the interface between the Launcher and the Payload. For this test, the UCMEC was configured with a Proto-Flight Vampire PL Adapter, the Payload fairing Boat Tail and the Payload Dummy, see also the Figure in this Paragraph.
The results of the UCMEC tests will be presented at the Launch Vehicle Critical Design Review to be held in December 2018.