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FAST-LOCK INTERCONNECTIONS AND CONNECTORLESS FLAT CABLES FOR SATCOMS (ARTES AT 4A.091)

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-11169
Open Date: 12/07/2022 14:04 CEST
Closing Date: 27/10/2022 13:00 CEST

The objective of the activity is to design, manufacture and test dedicated connectors with a fast-locking mechanism for satellite electronic units and boards. The developed connectors will allow direct mating with connectorless flat cables. Targeted Improvements:Reduction of the number of connection points by 20%, reduction of the total cable harness volume and mass by 60% and 40% respectively. Reduction of harness and satellite manufacturing, assembly, integration and test time by 20%. Description: The electrical harness is a major contributor to satellite mass and a major driver for electrical accommodation. Typically, the harness represents up to10% of the satellite total mass and the number of connection points is increasing due to progressively complex payloads. Therefore, there is a continuous quest for ways to reduce the mass and volume of the harness and to simplify its manufacturing and assembly. The introduction of connectorless flat cables for digital and analogue signals and associated fast-lock interconnections has the potential to ease harness accommodation and integration in the satellite and to significantly reduce its mass and cost. While flex and flat cables are already being used inside spacecraft units, their application in spacecraft harnesses is limited, essentially due to size issues. Nowadays, flexible flat cables of up to several metres in length can be manufactured due to improved production processes. In addition, the challenge is to insert the flat cables without connectors directly into the boards or units. This can be reached by having connectorless flat cables and dedicated connectors with a fast-locking mechanism on the boards/units. This system will allow connection of the harness cables to units with only one connector at the unit side, instead of conventional solutions employing two connectors. Currently, no dedicated connectors specifically designed for these flat cables exist and they need to be developed.This activity will develop connectors for space applications in different sizes and mechanical configurations and with a secure locking mechanism and high retention force, while also allowing harness routing flexibility. Additional challenges such as double insulation capability and optimised current rating per contact shall be addressed. The connectors shall be submitted to a test programme, including electrical, thermal and mechanical tests, to confirm the potential for using fast-lock interconnections with connectorless flat cables in the space environment. Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to this link.

Directorate: Directorate Telecom Integrated Applica
Estabilishment: ECSAT
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Nathalie Dorval
Initiating Service: TIA-TTS
IP Measure: C1
Prog. Reference: E/0534-01G - CC-AT 4.0.1
Tender Type: Open Competition
Open To Tenderers From: AT+BE+CA+CH+CZ+DE+DK+GR+ES+FI+FR+GB+HU+IE+IT+LU+NL+NO+PL+PT+RO+SE
Technology Keywords: 23-B-I-Passive Components
Products Keywords: 2-B-1-a-Capacitors

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