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ASSESSMENT OF MATERIALS AND PROCESSES DESIGN MARGINS FOR SPACECRAFT AND LAUNCHERS - EXPRO PLUS

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8187
Open Date: 17/03/2015
Closing Date: 28/04/2015

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 14.1QM.13
Prog. Ref.: TRP
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 - TRP
Special Prov.: B+DK+F+D+I+NL+E+S+CH+GB+IRL+A+N+FIN+POR+GR+LUX+CZ+RO+PL
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Technical & Quality Manag
Department: Product Assurance and Safety Department
Division: Materials & Components Technology Divisi
Contract Officer: Wesolowski, Szymon
Last Update Date: 17/03/2015
Update Reason: Tender issue

Description: Various design margins are applied to materials and processes during the life cycle of a space project, in order to ensure an accepted system level safety and reliability. Many diverse examples of such margins could be given, such as the margin applied to the thickness of radiation shielding material on an electronics box, the margin applied to the thickness or strength of a structural material or the margin applied to the end of life properties of a thermal control material. In general, the application of these margins tends to increase the complexity of a system design, which drives up cost, mass, development time etc. Because margins on materials and processes are generally applied at one of the lowest levels in the spacecraft design and production cycle, there is the risk that additional margins are added by the system level designers, leading to over-engineered or cost inefficient solutions. Many aspects of standard spacecraft design are now rather mature with regards to the materials and processes used, and the status-quo is often accepted with regards to the margins applied. However, some commercial companies now start to push the boundaries on the margins back and make successful use of commercial materials and parts which have little or no space heritage. Therefore, this wouldbe the time to adopt a more systematic approach to revisit the materials and processes margins which are applied across ESA space projects and to see what lessons can be learnt from the many previously successful space missions in order to introduce potential cost savings in the future. The review will focus on identifying the maturity level of the various margins and the levels of uncertainty involved, including areas where the margins could be affected by use of out of date or inaccurate data for materials properties. The overall aim is to identify areas where a refinement or more accurate definition of the margins could have a significant impact on the spacecraft development programme.

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