28, April 2021

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-10786
Open Date: 15/04/2021 14:33 GMT +3
Closing Date: 28/05/2021 13:00 GMT +3

Design, conduct the preliminary development and functional verification of a prototype of a programmable, variable accurate timer, space reefing parachute cutter for descend and landing missions.Reefing cutters used for terrestrial systems typically use a chemical timing chain and so are somewhat variable. There is no space qualified reefing cutters for parachutes existing in Europe. Reefing a parachute is the technique of restricting its open area, usually executed by installation of a “Reefing line” (typically a cord) of smaller diameter than the fully open skirt. Disreefing is typically accomplished by installation of reefing cutters (timed delay pyrotechnic cord cutters) that allow the canopy to fully open. Reefing is most often used to reduce initial inflation forces, allowing the payload to decelerate to a lower dynamic pressure prior to full inflation.To illustrate the expected benefits, such device would have allowed ExoMars to use a single supersonic parachute instead of 2 (out of a total 4 parachutes). It could have allowed ExoMars to limit the loads on the second main parachute as presently designed.The programmable parachute reefing and cutter shall allow reducing initial inflation forces. This is not available for ExoMars and a European solution would allow reducing the number of supersonic parachutes to a single one in future missions. The proposed technology is the main priority for improvement of the parachute sub-system: a programmable (variable, accurate timer), space reefing cutter. The preliminary development, and functional verification of a breadboard of such device for supersonic/subsonic parachute will be performed within this activity, and adequately tested in selected wind tunnel facilities.This activity encompasses the following tasks::- Design and preliminary development of the space reefing cutter.- Testing of the system in a functional representative scenario (ground facility wind tunnel).- Evaluation of test results and creation of a development roadmap for technology maturationProcurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to esa-star publication news – “Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes”.

Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. Quality
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Contracts Officer: Maximilian Garre
Initiating Service: TEC-MPA
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 15-H-VI-Development of New Devices for Future Exploration and Exploitation Missions / 18-B-III-Dedicated Facilities
Products Keywords: 1-B-1-a-Parachutes / 3-A-1-a-Parachutes

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