29, June 2018

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9370
Open Date: 26/06/2018
Closing Date: 14/09/2018 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 18.133.04
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Launchers / Mechanisms / Mechanisms – Units / Others / Satellites & Probes / Mechanisms / Mechanisms ¿ BB / Sensors: Position sensors, Velocity, Acceleration, Stress, …/ Satellites & Probes / Electronics / EEE Components / Other
Techology Domains: Mechanisms / Mechanism Core Technologies / Motion & Force Sensor Technologies / EEE Components and Quality / EEE Component Technologies / Optoelectronic Active and Passive Components
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Mechanical Engineering Department
Division: Structure and Mechanisms Division
Contract Officer: Reinsoo, Anna
Industrial Policy Measure: C1 – Activities in open competition limited to the non-Larg…
Last Update Date: 26/06/2018
Update Reason: Tender issue

Micro-switches are position sensors that provide position information once per movement or once per turn. Micro-switches are frequently used in Space mechanisms to provide telemetry or to provide positive indication of the achievement of a desiredposition or function (i.e. open, close, ready-to-latch, latched, end of travel, turn, reference position, etc.) for different mechanism applications like deployment mechanisms, instrument mechanisms, antenna pointing mechanisms, rotary mechanisms, etc.Current switches that relyon electro-mechanical technology are not very reliable and are sensitive to mounting orientation, to thermal gradients, to the way they are operated and have a limited number of operational cycles, which is a problem for longlife mechanisms. Micro-switches relying on contact provide an additional resistive torque that has to be overcome by the mechanism actuator, having a negative impact on the torque available and the motorization margin of the actuator. As electromechanicalmicro-switches cannot sustain high mechanicalloads, they should never be used as mechanical end stops. There is a small adjustment range in which the micro-switch will indicatethe proper status. An incorrect assembly or a misadjustment due to in orbit thermal gradient effects can prevent the micro-switch frombeing actuated or can damage the devices. Microswitchesthat can be adjusted to have a wider operative status range can provide a high advantage against contact devices.This function can be provided by contactless devices without affecting reliability, and without adding extra mass or any resistive torque.Therefore, there is a clear interest in developing contactless micro-switches that would provide a reliable, low cost and low mass solution, and that can operate without aging in the space environment.Different contactless position sensing technologies (hall effect, capacitive, magneto-resistive) are currently being developed in Europe and can be potential technology candidates already available for the development of the contactless micro-switch, however new technologies willbe also considered during the technology assessment.The activity will start with an assessment on the potential candidate technologies and with a market assessment to obtain the main requirements needed by industry. A trade-off will be carried out to select the most promising technology. Based on the selected technology and the set of requirements obtained from the market assessment a concept design will be defined. Afterthe breadboard is manufactured, it will be tested in a relevant environment to proof the feasibilityof the concept.The main tasks of the activity are:- State of the art technology assessment- Market assessment- Technology selection and trade-off- Preliminary Concept design- Breadboard manufacturing- Breadboard testing in relevant environment- ResultsanalysisProcurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news “Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes”.

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