A lecture at the KU Leuven University by SABCA’s technical manager for VEGA

Sep 2012

VEGA is the new European space launch vehicle that has been specifically developed to put a small satellite (300 to 2000 kg) in low orbit around the earth. The payload may also consist of several smaller satellites.

The first flight from Kourou successfully occurred in February 2012.

VEGA is made of four stages, the lower three using solid propellant, the last one operating with liquid propellants.

SABCA has an important role in the development of VEGA.

On the structural side, SABCA has developed and built the three meter diameter, one meter high lower skirt of the first stage of the rocket.

However, the main responsibility of SABCA on VEGA covers the control of the vector (i.e. direction) of the thrust of each of the four stages. The steering of the engine thrust is performed using electro-mechanical actuators, a technical “first” that eliminates the need for bulky hydraulic tanks and pipes. Besides, SABCA develops all the electronics and software necessary for the control of the actuators, thus taking the complete responsibility of the Thrust Vector Control System.


Mr Tillo Vanthuyne graduated in 2001 as an electrical engineer from the Leuven University in Belgium. Thereafter he studied at ENSAE (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace in France). He then joined SABCA’s Mechatronics Department to become the technical manager for the VEGA Thrust Vector Control System.

He will speak about the VEGA program and his experience during a lecture at the KU Leuven (Leuven University) on Thursday, October 4, at 20:00. The lecture will be given in the Dutch language.

Practical details

KU Leuven - Departement Werktuigkunde
Auditorium van de tweede hoofdwet
Celestijnenlaan 300
3001 Heverlee   (Leuven)

Attendance to the lecture is free, but reservations are required via the web site

 SABCA is a leading Belgian Aerospace company since almost 92 years, employing 1000 highly trained persons. SABCA is active in civil aircraft design and manufacturing (Airbus, Dassault, Gulfstream), military aircraft overhaul and upgrades (F16, Mirage F1, Alphajet, helicopters, etc…) as well as in space programs (Ariane, Vega). These activities cover structural work as well as thrust vector control systems and systems integration. SABCA has plants in Brussels and Charleroi, a fully owned subsidiary SABCA Limburg nv, specialized in aerospace composites, and a new low-cost assembly plant ASM Aero in Morocco.

For more information, write to:

Marketing & Sales Director SABCA

Fax +32 2 729 5896 or

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