14, April 2022

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-11203
Open Date: 04/04/2022 16:35 CEST
Closing Date: 17/06/2022 13:00 CEST

The objective of the activity is to design, manufacture and test a smart propellant tank with embedded sensors enabling direct monitoring of internal tank pressure and temperature and active thermal management through embedded heaters. Targeted Improvements:- Increased precision of propellant gauging (20% to 50%)- Improved propellant temperature management- Reduced system-level assembly, integration and test effortDescription: Space propulsion needs constant monitoring of several parameters for both on-ground testing and in-orbit gauging and health monitoring. In typical designs, several standalone equipment is added to the system, such as pressure transducers, thermo-couples and heaters. Each of those external components requires a dedicated design review and needs to be individually tested. Also, they come with additional hardware and management cost due to the several different suppliers involved. Individual components imply increased inaccuracies during the acquisition, which degrades the precision of gauging analysis. Some major challenges to overcome in the project include the manufacturing process to embed sensors (i.e. during wrapping), repeatability and calibration of sensor accuracy and positioning, mechanical effects on fibre overwraps and impact on design limits, reliability, and the impact on on-ground assembly, integration and testing if the sensors are damaged. The sensors to be used could include traditional strain gauges, pressure transducers, thermistors, or newer piezo gauges or other sensors. A smart propellant tank, with embedded sensors enabling direct monitoring of internal tank pressure and temperature, and with an active thermal management through embedded heaters, increases the gauging precision and avoids additional surface mounted pressure transducers and thermistors. This could be achieved for example by using carbon fibre over-wrap, new technologies such as titanium silicon carbide wrap, other filament winding methods, or 3D printing techniques. An active plug-and-play, reduced-volume tank (Scaled Engineering Model) will be designed, manufactured and tested to verify its performance compared to a conventional tank/thermal equipment/pressure transducer set-up.

Directorate: Directorate Telecom Integrated Applica
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Audrey Ferreol
Initiating Service: TIA-TTS
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0534-01G – CC-AT 4.0.1
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 19-D-III-Propellants
Products Keywords: 2-N-all.1-d-Propellant tanks

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