Category Archives: Space

Heating System for SMA actuators

You are looking to replace your pyrotechnic actuators with shape memory alloy technology for your space applications ? We have the most advanced industry-proven solutions.

Spacecrafts require variety of mechanisms to accomplish the mission. The typical functions are deployment, articulation, positioning, displacement.

Pyrotechnic separation nuts, paraffin actuators and others devices are hazardous for the satellite, regarding shocks waves generation and potential risk of contamination.

Shape Memory Alloy ( SMA ) technology equipped with inner heating element, offers smooth and slow behavour, higher cleanliness result and good vibration & shock resistance.

Thermocoax addresses this new market with miniature and powerfull heating element, same components already demonstrated on propulsion and thermal management on board satellite.

Main applications are single one time used valve, Hold Down & Relieve Mechanism (HDRM), Pin Puller, deployment Hinge.

Heating SMA
Heating coil

THERMOCOAX 60th ANNIVERSARY

THERMOCOAX has reached a major milestone this year. The company is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

60 years of service to our customers, 60 years of innovation in the nuclear, aerospace, semicon, and industrial markets meeting the expectations of these sectors through their constantly evolving applications.

To celebrate this event, the teams undertook the crossing of the bay of Mont Saint-Michel last month.  Braving the cold, the mud, and the rivers (sometimes full), we managed to chase the clouds and together we reached the finish line of this jewel of architecture, The Mont Saint-Michel, also called the “Wonder of the West”.  It was a very beautiful day revealing the mutual effort, team spirit, strong human values of THERMOCOAX.

 

 

 

THERMOCOAX Inside EUTELSAT 172

 

THERMOCOAX supports the 100 volt Satcom new generation. First European full electrical propulsion satcom produced by Airbus D&S.

On-board EUTELSAT 172,  THERMOCOAX provides the propulsion’s heating rings (attitude & orbit control) + the 100 volts heating elements mostly used during the transfer orbit.

Launching’s planned next June, from French Guiana Space Center.

THERMOCOAX Space Products : New Generation of Catalyst Bed Heater

Spacecraft Propulsion

Coiled cable design for :

Green propulsion : Thrusters 1 to 200N

Deorbiting operation : Thruster 400N

 

Thermocoax Pedigree

THERMOCOAX has been a key player worldwide for 15 years in the designing, developing and manufacturing of heating systems for the space market.

We provide solutions for:

– Ground applications:

  • R&D programs with institutes
  • Ground equipment

– Flying models :

  • Heating management system on Satcom.
  • Catalyst bed heater for chemical propulsion
  • Heating solution for Hall Effect thruster

-Scientific Mission :

  • Heating system on Curiosity Rover
  • Heating Element on ISS for MSL
  • Heating Element for pyrolysor on Cassini-Huygens Titan probe

CBH8

 

Technical Application of Coiled Catalyst Bed Heater

The new generation of Green propulsion thrusters and deorbiting thrusters is a great opportunity to supply the market with a new generation of catalyst bed heater for better efficiency, increased reliability and greater cost-effectiveness.

Until now, the cartridge design heater has been mostly used and 2 to 4 systems are implemented on the thruster to reach 12 watts.

pic 1

THERMOCOAX is able to simplify the catalyst bed heater system by offering its technology solution of a heating cable which has a diameter of only 1 mm. This cable is then coiled around the catalyst and fixed by brazing or another fixation mode.

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This new design is based on long-proven cable technology that has been adopted by aircraftavionics and space missions, such as for the Prisma spacecraft. Currently, this new design is qualified to equip the 40-satellite constellations dedicated to taking 3D pictures of the Earth.

Technical Description of the Catalyst Bed Heater

We use our best mineral insulated cable.

Mineral Insulated Cable with 4 resistive wires to shape 2 heating loops

Cold part in two stages, the first stage with a diameter of 2.3mm, the second stage with 1.5mm and a heating part with a 1mm diameter

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The cable is then coiled around a ring to be fixed onto the catalyst.

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Example 1 :

pic 2

Example 2 :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Catalyst Bed Heater :

  • 2 redundant electrical loops
  • Nominal Power supply: 28 volt to 55 volt
  • Power version per loop :
    • 10 watt under 28Vdc
    • 100 watt under 55 volts
  • Max exposed temperature :
    • 1000 °C with Inconel
    • 1600°C with Platinum

 

Other power available by playing on the cable geometry :

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Mineral Insulated Cable :

Version exposed 1000°C :

  • Inconel 600 sheath
  • 4 Nickel-Chromium wires

Version exposed 1600°C

  • Platinum sheath
  • Platinum-rhodium wires

CBH7

 

Lead Wires :

  • 4 wires
  • Color code for each loop
  • AWG24 or 26
  • Strength 1.4 kg

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Acceptance Test Criteria of the catalyst bed heater :

  • Helium Leak Test
  • X-Ray of the heating cartridge
  • X-Ray of the MIC/lead wires junction
  • Lead attachment strength test
  • Visual and mechanical examination
  • Overvoltage
  • Line Resistance
  • Insulation Resistance under 500volts
  • Burn-in test
  • Dielectric 100/300/500Vac, 60Hz/60s
  • Weight
  • Final Manufacturing Report

 

Test List for Qualification Program of the Catalyst Bed Heater

  • Thermocoax conducts and realises the qualification test program in accordance with our customer’s specifications.

Our engineers write the QTP for customer approval prior to test execution.

Most of the tests (thermal, humidity, electrical…) on the Catalyst Bed Heater are performed in THERMOCOAX’s testing lab facilities.

Those requiring heavy equipment (vibration, acceleration, shocks…) are subcontracted to external laboratories or supported by our customers with the complete propulsion system.

-Typical Qualification Test list on Catalyst Bed Heater :

  • Vibration
  • Acceleration
  • Mechanical shock
  • Pyrotechnic Shock
  • Helium leak test
  • Burn-in test
  • Humidity test
  • Hot Firing test
  • Electrical Cycling test
  • Thermal cycling test
  • Lead Attachment Test
  • Dielectric Test
  • Destructive Physical Analysis
  • X-Ray Examination

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  • Packaging and Cleanliness :

The Catalyst Bed Heater is shipped in a specific packaging to ensure excellent conditions during transportation and storage :

CBH3 CBH4

 

Thermocoax supplies new green propulsion programs (1, 5, 20, 200 and 400 Newton thrusters). Here are few examples :

  • Prisma
  • Google Constellation


T
Hermocoax is the market leader in Catalyst Bed Heater production and is proud to participate in challenging international space programs.

THERMOCOAX focuses on high quality Catalyst Bed Heater products for the best stability and repeatability during operation. For 15 years, we have witnessed the challenges faced by our customers to manufacture spacecraft and to improve the quality of life of humanity.

 

New large constellation programs are taking shape, THERMOCOAX is now ready to support the market with cost-effective catalyst bed heaters.

 

 

 

THERMOCOAX Space Products Catalyst Bed Heaters – Cartridge Design Spacecraft Propulsion

Thermocoax Pedigree

THERMOCOAX has been a worldwide key player for 15 years the design, development and manufacture of heating systems for the space market.

We are providing solutions for :

Ground applications :

  • R&D programs with institutes
  • Ground equipment

Flying models :

  • Heating management system on Satcom
  • Catalyst bed heater for chemical propulsion
  • Heating solution for Hall effect thruster

Scientific Mission :

  • Heating system on Curiosity rover
  • Heating Element on ISS for MSL
  • Heating Element for pyrolyser on the Cassini-Huygens Titan probe

CBH8

 

Technical Applications of Catalyst Bed Heaters

Monopropellant Thruster is a small rocket engine used for attitude, trajectory and orbit control of satellites and spacecraft.

The main reason for catalyst bed heaters on monopropellant thrusters is to improve the performance at startup.

Typically, when the catalyst is cold, the first pulse is weak and has large delays from the valve to the centroid of the thrust.

Using a heating component is a strategic solution to avoid unstable performance when the thruster is used for infrequent attitude control pulsing, as the bed could potentially cool down between pulses.

CBH9

With regard to Space Debris Mitigation (SDM), technical modifications will be implemented on new satellite platforms.

Through the CleanSat program, the ESA supports LEO Platforms for compliance with the SDM requirements.

This is an opportunity for THERMOCOAX to contribute to this program with catalyst bed heaters on propulsive de-orbiting. The objective is to perform the maneuver for the different classes of spacecraft with mass ranges from below 10kg, up to 2000kg.

Then the spacecraft is expected to be completely destroyed during the atmospheric re-entry with a negligible risk for ground populations.

 

Technical Description of Catalyst Bed Heater

The heating cartridge is the design most used over the last 20 years.

The heating cartridge works continually to keep the catalyst bed no lower than a certain value to get a more efficient start up when the thruster is activated.

For de-orbiting, we can consider the use of the 400 Newton apogee motor which was unused for the whole life of the spacecraft. When the de-orbiting maneuver is decided, the oversized catalyst bed heater has the task of pre-heating the dormant catalyst bed for its last thrust.

Capture

Catalyst Bed Heater Cartridge :

  • 2 redundant electrical circuits
  • Rated power supply: 28 Volt to 40 Volt
  • Type of power for each circuit:
    • 2 Watt at 28 V DC
    • 8 Watt at 28 V DC
    • 12 Watt at 32 V DC
  • 70 W/cm²
  • Nickel chromium wires
  • Ceramic insulator
  • Inconel 600
  • Overvoltage 42 V DC

Capture bis

Mineral-Insulated Cable :

  • Inconel 600 sheath
  • 4 wire nickel chromium
  • Dielectric 500 Volt
  • Ø2.3 down to 1mm
  • Bending radius 3*Ø

CBH7

Lead Wires :

  • 4 wires
  • Color code for each loop
  • AWG24 or 26
  • Strength 1.4 kg

CBH6

Acceptance test criteria of the catalyst bed heater :

  • Helium leak test
  • X-Ray of the heating cartridge
  • X-Ray of the MIC/lead wires junction
  • Lead attachment strength test
  • Visual and mechanical inspection
  • Overvoltage
  • Line Resistance
  • Insulation Resistance under 500 Volts
  • Burn-in test
  • Dielectric 100/300/500V AC, 60Hz/60s
  • Weight
  • Final manufacturing report

Response Time :

  • With only one circuit: 3.2 Watt
  • Heating cartridge painted black
  • Measured with IR camera

CBH10

  • Measure with thermocouples
  • One circuit of 3.2 Watt

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Results :

  • Input voltage: 28 V DC
  • Power :
    • Min: 3.02 W with R=230Ω
    • Nominal : 3.2 W with R=245Ω
    • Max: 3.41 W with R=260Ω
  • Power density : 0.70 Watt/cm²

 

Test List for Qualification Program of the Catalyst Bed Heater

Thermocoax drives and conducts the qualification test program in accordance with our customer’s specification.

Our engineers write the QTP for customer approval prior to running the test.

Most of the tests on the catalyst bed heater are performed in THERMOCOAX’s test laboratories (thermal, humidity, electrical etc.). Those requiring heavy equipment (vibration, acceleration, shocks  etc.) are subcontracted to external laboratories or conducted by our customers with the complete propulsion system.

-Typical qualification Test  list on catalyst bed heater :

  • Vibration
  • Acceleration
  • Mechanical shock
  • Pyrotechnic shock
  • Helium leak test
  • Burn-in test
  • Humidity test
  • Hot firing test
  • Electrical cycling test
  • Thermal cycling test
  • Lead attachment test
  • Dielectric test
  • Destructive physical analysis
  • X-ray examination

cbh2

CBH1

Packaging and Cleanliness :

  • THERMOCOAX is focusing on high quality catalyst bed heater products for the best stability and repeatability in operation. We have understood  our customers’ challenges to manufacture spacecraft for 15 years and to improve human life.

In THERMOCOAX’s we are working hard to participate in these incredible challenging programs

 

Specific packaging is organized to ensure excellent condition of the catalyst bed heater during transportation and storage :

CBH3 CBH4

THERMOCOAX has supplied many programs on 1, 5, 20, 200 and 400 Newton hydrazine thrusters, here are a few example s:

  • Sentinel
  • Pleaiades
  • Myriad
  • Alsat
  • Elisa
  • SSOT
  • Jason
  • Taranis
  • Syracuse
  • Sicral
  • Proteus
  • Giove

THERMOCOAX is the major player for catalyst bed heaters and is proud to participate in great space programs.

Thermocoax joins in Europe’s NIPSE project which targets the novel integration of system equipment on next-generation aircraft engines

Press Release    logo NIPSE

 

 

26 November, 2015

The challenges of equipment integration on future aircraft engines – particularly next-generation Ultra-High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) powerplants – is the focus of a three-year European Union-funded technology project now underway with 10 companies and organisations.

Called nipse (Novel Integration of Powerplant System Equipment), this programme addresses installation limitations expected in such future engines, including the thinner nacelles and larger fan modules ; along with architectures that require more functionality and provide extra thermal constraints through lower ventilation capability and reduced volume availability.

In this context, the NIPSE project seeks to find better placement options for equipment, using locations in the engine, the nacelle and the aircraft itself. NIPSE also addresses the need to improve thermal management of integrated powerplant systems (IPPS).

NIPSE is targeting potential engine fuel savings of up to 2-3 percent, gained through a 15-percent reduction of equipment volume for the UHBR engine, along with weight savings and improved thermal management on the more integrated powerplant systems. Additionally, a reduction of development time for the installation of powerplant systems is anticipated.

We, THERMOCOAX, participates to improve fire detection technology and the implementation of these sensors on the engine or nacelle.

Established within the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme, NIPSE is funded at 6.2 million euros and has a three-year duration from its formal kickoff last June. It is managed by the Commission’s INEA (Innovation and Networks Executive Agency), with Aircelle (Safran) as the programme leader in its role as industrial coordinator.

Contact :

Iain Minton, NIPSE project coordinator
iain.minton@aircelle.com

The NIPSE consortium :

Safran Aircelle (France) ; ARTTIC (France) ; Thermocoax SAS (France) ; Stichting Nationaal Lucht- En Ruimtevaartlaboratorium (The Netherlands) ; Compañía Española De Sistemas Aeronáuticos (Spain) ; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited (UK) ; Meggitt Aerospace Ltd. (UK) ; Safran Snecma (France) ; Safran Labinal Power Systems (France), Archimedes Center for Innovation and Creation (Greece).

 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 636218