18, September 2016

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8702
Open Date: 16/09/2016
Closing Date: 25/01/2017 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 16.1TT.33
Prog. Ref.: ARTES 5 Sub-El. 5.1
Budget Ref.: E/0505-01B – ARTES 5 Sub-El. 5.1
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Mechanisms / Mechanisms / Deployment (SADM, SADE, …) / Satellites & Probes / Structures / Folded structures / Satellites & Probes / Structures / Space structures with changing geometries / Deployable Structures, Adaptive Trusses / Satellites & Probes / Structures / Struct. Eng. SW / SW for Structure design, analysis, simulation, etc.
Technology Domains: Mechanisms / Mechanism Core Technologies / Actuator Technologies
Structures / High Stability and High-Precision S/C Structures / Thermo-elastic Stability Verification Technologies / Structures / Inflatable and Deployable Structures / Design and Verification Technologies / Structures / Inflatable and Deployable Structures / Structural Material Concepts / Structures / Advanced Structural Concepts and Materials / Design and Verification Technologies
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applications
Department: Telecom Technologies, Product& Systems Department
Contract Officer: Melliger, Erich
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 16/09/2016
Update Reason: Tender issue

Objective: The objective is to develop the concept, the mathematical model, and develop the materials and processes for building ultra-light and lower-cost composite arms for deployable antennas. Targeted Improvements: This activity streamlines one of the recurring elements of telecom satellites virtually eliminating the mass and cost of the deployment mechanisms. For some configurations of antenna deployment arms this will result in a reduction of cost and mass by a factor of 2.The currently used motorized hinges could be avoided along with their large number of parts and associated assembly and integration cost and time. Also, the need for harnesses may be significantly reduced and the overall appendage becomes more stable. Description: Deployable antenna arms are a recurrent component of telecommunication satellites payloads. Presently deployable arms are implemented by articulating one or multiple limbs through mechanical hinges. These have a large number of parts, are far from optimal in terms of mass and require a lengthy process for assembly and integration. Alternatively, patterned slots can be directly integrated in composite booms creating the localized flexible regions required for compact stowage with much simpler and lighter configurations. The challenge resides in defining the slot geometry and selecting the right materials that allow for a short radius of curvature in the stowed configuration, while producing smooth deployment and latching to provide a stable stiff state in the deployed configuration. However, an accurate understanding of the stress distribution around the slot under very large deformations is paramount for avoiding damage during the folding, storage and launch processes. Deployable antennas with slotted hinges have been successfully manufactured in the US and deployed on-orbit, however Europe and Canada are lagging behind. This activity aims at providing ESA Member States industry with this capability and promoting enhancements in terms of:- Configuration of the deployable arm;- High stiffness and strength and stable materials;- Micromechanical modelling for accurate prediction of stresses;- Slot design for compact and damage-free stowage ;- Manufacturing processes. In the activity, an antenna deployable arm with slotted integrated hinges shall be designed which replicates the functions of a conventional design using mechanical hinges. This design shall be supported by testing at sample level. Finally, a demonstrator with integrated slotted hinges shall be manufactured and tested for deployment, thermal cycling and vibrations and the performances compared to those of the conventional technology.

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