28, September 2015

ESA Open Invitation To Tender AO8427
Open Date: 24/09/2015
Closing Date: 05/11/2015

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 15.129.16
Prog. Ref.: TRP
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – TRP
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 100-200 KEURO
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Technical & Quality Manag
Department: Mechanical Engineering Department
Division: Mechatronics and Optics Division
Contract Officer: Zarifa Kudari
Last Update Date: 24/09/2015
Update Reason: Tender issue

As fiber optics are being adopted in many new payloads such as optical communication terminals, LIDAR, Altimeters, optical on-boardcommunication and fiber optic sensing. There is clear need for the investigation of high reliability optical switching technology which could be used to provide redundancy in these optical fiber architectures. Many different approaches are available in the terrestrial communication world today to provide this function including several approaches which steer the light without the need of moving mechanical parts (Acouto-optic, Electro-optic, Thermo-optic approaches). Such approaches are ideal for the space environment as they are inherently more mechanically reliable. Such switching technologies are also ideal for applications on launchers (optopyro) where the operational environment is severe. There is a clear need to perform an evaluation of low port count optical fiber switchingso that the best approach can be identified and the technology can be made available as a critical building block for future space applications. ESA has been evaluating MEMs switching technology (Sercalo) for application in telecom payloads. However these payloads require a large switch matrix typically greater than 50×50 channels. The SERCALO approach makes use of a moving micro mirror element for steering the light the mechanical relaibility of which is difficult to prove over the life of a space mission. The switching element for redundancy would typically require just a few channels (for example 1×2 or 2×2) which opens the door to many other technologies including those without any moving parts which will be the subject of this study. The study will focus on the following: – Review and trade-off of available switching technologies with no moving parts for suitability for the space applications and environment. The review shall include all the possible switching technologies which do not involve the use of moving parts including; Acouto-optic, Electro-optic and microphotonics. – Based on the review a breadboard will be developed and tested. Critical elements will beevaluated in representative space environment. – Based on the test results a technology development roadmap will be elaborated Procurement 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 R&D entities in ESA programmes”.

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