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Space Engineering: A World of Difference Ir. A. Kamp Delft University of Technology Astrodynamics & Satellite Systems Space = Remoteness from Earth Our familiarity with Protective Earth atmosphere 1-G environment

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Space Engineering: A World of DifferenceIr. A. Kampa.kamp@lr.tudelft.nl University of TechnologyAstrodynamics & Satellite Systems

space remoteness from earth
Space = Remoteness from Earth
  • Our familiarity with
    • Protective Earth atmosphere
    • 1-G environment
    • Accessibility for repair/inspection
  • Is partly lost in Space Engineering
what makes it so different
What Makes It So Different?
  • Space: different and “strange” environment
  • Demanding performance requirements
  • Complex systems
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Severe safety
  • High availability
  • Many interfacing parties
complex and high cost systems
Complex and High Cost Systems
  • Cost per kg
    • INTELSAT: development & launch 250,000 €/kg in-orbit mass
    • ISS: 450,000 €/kg
    • Globalstar: 50,000 €/kg
    • Mid-sized car: 25 €/kg
  • Number of personnel involved in development
    • >100-200
  • Time required from initial conception till operation
    • 3-10 years

Ref: AE1-801 SE&T I

objective of presentation
Objective of Presentation
  • How “strange” is the Space Environment?
  • Some of the impact on engineering
  • How are space systems developed?to minimise
    • development risk and risk of failure
what is space
What Is Space?
  • It is difficult to get to and to stay in
  • Acompletely unforgivingenvironment
    • If you screw up the engineering, SOMEBODY DIES!
  • A very hostile environment
  • It’sdifferent!
space difficult to get in
Space: Difficult To Get In
  • Severe launch loads


Acoustic loads


Random loads


Steady State SinusShock loads

dimensioning instruments electronic boxes etc
Dimensioning Instruments, Electronic Boxes, Etc

Size your equipment to withstand the static load factors and the severe random vibrations



mechanical engineering
Mechanical Engineering
  • In-depth analysis
    • Stress
    • Dynamic and Acoustic
    • Thermal distortion
    • Fatigue
    • Micro-vibration
    • Mass budgeting
  • Structural testing(random vibrations, acoustic, shocks)
space environment
Space Environment
  • Kind
    • No water vapour
    • No wind
    • Very clean environment
    • Zero effective gravity
  • Hostile
    • Hot and cold
    • Very high vacuum
    • Atomic oxygen
    • High energy electromagnetic radiation
    • Particle radiation
    • Debris
hot and cold
Hot and Cold
  • Solar flux density:on earth 500 W/m2in space 1400 W/m2
  • Earth surface 293 K cold space 4 K
  • No convection
hot and cold13
Hot and Cold
  • Without special measures material temperatures in earth orbitmay vary between –270 and +130 C
good performance only if
Good Performance Only If
  • Narrow temperature ranges
    • Electronics typically –10/ + 40 C
    • Batteries - 5/ + 15
    • Hydrazine fuel + 9/ + 40
  • Limited thermal gradients
  • Adequate thermal stability
envisat thermal protection
ENVISAT Thermal Protection

Thermal blankets

Superior insulation


Rejection of heat

thermal engineering
Thermal Engineering
  • Design analysis
  • Thermal testing in vacuum/solar sim.
    • Verify the predicted temperature extremes
    • Verify proper functioning of equipment under TV conditions
      • After thermal cycling
      • At Textreme
high vacuum
High Vacuum
  • Immediately life threatening
  • Engines have to carry fuel and oxidizer
  • Risk of “cold welding”
  • Risk of inadvertent pressure vessels
high vacuum contaminating
High Vacuum: Contaminating?
  • Sublimation of materials (outgassing)
  • Contaminants deposit on sensitive surfaces
  • UV radiation leads to polymerisation of organic molecules
cleanliness engineering
Cleanliness Engineering
  • Material selection
    • No Cadmium, Zinc, Magnesium, plastics
    • Only special adhesives, and lubricants for mechanisms
  • Outbaking of volatile materials, all equipment
    • Typ. 3 days @ 80 C in vacuum
  • Contamination Budget Analysis
  • Contamination monitoring and control during AIT
thinking clean working clean
Thinking Clean, Working Clean

SCIAMACHY optical instrument integration in Clean Room 100 conditions

effective absence of gravity
Effective Absence of Gravity
  • An advantage or a disadvantage?
    • What happens to an astronaut when he swings a hammer and hits the nail?
    • Where is my liquid propellant in the tank?
  • Structures designed for weightlessness may not be testable on ground:design for testability!
solar and cosmic radiation
Solar and Cosmic Radiation
  • Flying through a plasma of charged particles (protons, electrons, heavier ionized atoms)
  • Typ. 450 km/s
  • How to shield or harden your electronics design?
  • What about static charging?
omi instrument proton shielding
OMI Instrument Proton Shielding
  • Concept without and with shielding

Ref: Dutch Space OMI PSR Sep 2002

managing risk of failures
Managing Risk of Failures
  • Ensure project’s conservative approach
  • Track weaknesses found in the design analysis, manufacturing, test and operationsRAMS Engineering
  • Standardisation of design and development
    • ECSS: European Cooperation for Space StandardizationECSS-E-20A Electrical and Electronic
need for systematic approach
Need for Systematic Approach
  • High complexity, high development risk
  • Little time to iterate
  • No chance to inspect or repair in orbit
  • Aiming for near-absolute reliability!

Systems Engineering:

First things first

First time right!

high speed line tunnel drilling
High Speed Line Tunnel Drilling

Complex systems, Multidisciplinary, Safety,

Many interfacing parties

systems engineering method
Systems Engineering Method
  • Structured development process
  • User requirements driven
  • Timely integration of all disciplines
  • Well motivated choices between all options
  • Visibility/traceability
  • Control
  • With the end product always in mind
space system development flow
Space System Development Flow

Requirements discovery

Development philophy

Cost break-down

Resource budgeting

Risk map

Systems Engineering flow in time:

Requirements flow-down and traceability

Design options trade-offs

Verification planning

spacecraft subsystems



S/C Bus





Remote Sensing






Spacecraft Subsystems

Guidance, Navigation & Control

Computer & Data Handling

web links used
Web Links Used
  • and

(sheets 8,10,13,15,16,17)

  • (sheets 8,9,26)
  • (sheet 12)
  • (sheet 14)
  • (sheets 20,21)
  • (sheet 22,24)
  • (sheet 27)
  • (sheet 29)
  • (sheet 31)
  • (sheet 37)