SpaceTech Receives Order from York Space Systems for Multiple Satellites

We are proud to be selected by York Space Systems to supply more solar arrays for multiple satellites. Unlike previous orders, we now also manufacture the carbon fiber panels at CarboSpaceTech ourselves.

SpaceTech solar array design

Central to SpaceTech’s experience and expertise regarding solar arrays, is the capability to adapt our design specifically to the customer needs, while maintaining a streamlined, automated series production, providing a significant cost benefit for the customer.

SpaceTech-CarboSpaceTech serial production

The new York Space Systems solar array order as well as other big projects for solar array deployment mechanism manufacturing, require repeatable, scalable and smoothly running processes that allow for automate serial production of parts for the space industry. Our teams, processes and machines in place at both sites – SpaceTech and CarboSpaceTech – empower us to run serial production in time and with high-quality results, specifically for solar arrays and deployment mechanisms. Furthermore, we are currently expanding our facilities due to the increased demand for our products used in commercial and institutional space missions.

SpaceTech solar arrays York Space Systems
SpaceTech solar array for York Space Systems satellites

 

Be part of launch #5 - 36 new AOS satellites for global internet

36 new Airbus OneWeb satellites complementing the mega constellation allowing for global satellite-based internet, will be sent with the fifth launch to orbit tomorrow, 25 March, 2021.
The flight ST30 performed by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate is scheduled for 3:47AM our time (2:47AM UTC) from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The satellites will be carried into a near-polar orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometers. After separation, the satellites will climb to their operational orbit of 1,200 km.

SpaceTech OneWeb satellite launch5
Illustration of OneWeb satellite (source: Airbus OneWeb Satellites)

Be part of the exciting launch event - watch the OneWeb live stream of launch #5 >

 

STI to deliver solar arrays for Airbus OneWeb Satellites

We are proud to announce that Airbus OneWeb Satellites has placed a multi-million € contract to deliver hundreds of solar arrays for the OneWeb satellite constellation with STI. This order significantly enlarges the scope of the already successful cooperation with Airbus OneWeb Satellites on the OneWeb constellation, for which STI is already responsible for the solar array deployment mechanisms.

We consider this contract - being the largest solar array contract for STI so far - as confirmation of the competitiveness of the automated series production and in-situ process control developed at STI over the last years.

SpaceTech Airbus OneWeb Satellites satellite illustration
Illustration of OneWeb satellite (source: Airbus OneWeb Satellites)

SpaceTech-CarboSpaceTech serial production

Our teams and processes in place at both sites – SpaceTech and CarboSpaceTech – allow us to run serial production of space hardware with high-quality results, specifically for solar arrays and deployment mechanisms. In order to satisfy the increased demand for our products for commercial and institutional space missions we are currently further expanding our facilities.

Find more information about OneWeb:
oneweb.world 
onewebsatellites.com

 

SpaceTech Aerospace Respirator ASR – ventilator for the world

SpaceTech ASR 01 PR 2021 3 9

Designing a rapidly available ventilator to reduce the low number of continuous mandatory ventilation was the goal by SpaceTech GmbH in April 2020. The mechanical, electrical, physical know-how and on-site manufacturing possibilities offered a great basis for developing a product outside of our comfort zone - outside of the space industry. In combination with the connection to the faculty of medicine University Hospital of Gießen Marburg (UKGM) and Justus-Liebig-University (JLU) in Germany, we had all necessary pieces of the puzzle in place: engineering, medical know-how, testing and manufacturing to develop the Aerospace Respirators (ASR).

SpaceTech ASR 01 development timeline

SpaceTech ASR development

In summer 2020 we reached already our first milestone: The ASR was successfully tested in comparison to well-established ventilators. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the team from the UKGM and JLU, who performed the tests. In addition to being a functioning ventilator, the ASR is low-cost, lightweight, and uses commercially readily available components so that large numbers can be manufactured at the short term. We want to support the world in medical progress – especially in countries with the need for more equipment in their public health sector.

The SpaceTech ASR next milestones

Our next milestone is further development for neonatal ventilation as well as weaning. It is not enough for us to just develop a ventilator – our goal is to provide long-term support and this only works if we can offer all relevant functions.

Multi-hinge solar array deployment mechanism for Copernicus on ZeroG robot

Supported by the ESA GSTP, STI today reached the next milestone with the start of the verification process of a 5-hinge-axes solar array deployment system, as will be used for the Copernicus expansion satellites, on a Zero-g robot (called “ZeroG”). Qualification is planned to be completed mid 2021.

Solar array wings - state of the art

Efficient power generation is a key factor in satellite development: High performance satellite instruments and platforms often have high power requirements that can only be generated by big surface solar arrays. Due to limited launcher capacity and excessive loads during launch, the solar array panels of most satellites need to be stored in a small volume during launch and are deployed after separation from the launcher.
Depending on the required power the deployment mechanism contains one or more hinge axes. While single-hinge deployment mechanisms can be relatively basic spring-driven mechanisms, multi-hinge deployment mechanisms are typically complex mechanisms containing motors and cables that perform a slow and synchronized deployment of the solar array wings. Unfortunately, these designs tend to be heavy, reliability critical and expensive.

A new approach to multi-hinge deployments

After having developed, built and delivered a range of body fixed and single-hinge solar arrays, SpaceTech (STI) has started the development of a new type of multi-hinge deployment mechanisms some years ago. This development resulted in the controlled unsynchronized deployment mechanism concept relying on C-spring hinges with torque-limiters to achieve a robust deployment into a defined deployment corridor. It significantly reduces the deployable solar array wing complexity, weight and cost.

STI has successfully applied the design in several activities, both for institutional and commercial missions. Perhaps most prominently are the 1800 solar array deployment mechanisms that we deliver to OneWeb, 220 of which are already in orbit.
Half a year ago, STI delivered the first solar array with 5 hinge axes for Momentus smallest satellite “Vigoride”.
Also, mid 2020, STI was selected by Thales, Airbus and OHB to provide the solar array wings for the EU Copernicus Expansion Satellites CHIME, CO2M, CRISTAL and LSTM, also with up to 5 hinges axes, but significantly larger panels. This indicating that our designs are not only cost efficient, but also meet the highest space mission standards.

Design and verify

One of the challenges of the controlled unsynchronized deployment mechanism is to ensure a safe deployment under all mission scenarios. This requires a high level of system design understanding and modelling of the specific design and environment during deployment. In addition, the verification of such a fast deployment requires new approaches for a ZeroG test rig that is capable to provide realistic g-compensation during different deployment scenarios for a wide range of solar array wings from 1 to up to 5 hinge axes.

CarboSpaceTech's ZeroG robot for realistic multi-hinge deployment testing

SpaceTech technologies GSTP multi hinge zero gravity testing zero g robotOne of the key pieces of the puzzle to the STI multi-hinge development is the unique zero gravity testing robot ZeroG by SpaceTech's innovative daughter company, CarboSpaceTech. Unlike traditional g-compensation measures, like rigs with long cables or Helium balloons, which are severely limited in dynamic situations, ZeroG is able to actively react in real time to the movement of the test object. Thus eliminating the impact of gravity with multiple, independent manipulators – one for each of the connected solar panels.













ZeroG robot for no gravity testing of multi-hinge deployable
solar arrays