Category Archives: Uncategorized

THERMOCOAX heating space products with Spacecraft Electrical Propulsion System

New Generation of Pre-Heating Solution for : Hall-Effect Propulsion Thruster

heating ring ring

THERMOCOAX Pedigree

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

We provide solutions for :

Ground applications :

  • R&D programmes with institutes
  • Ground equipment

Flying models :

  • Heating management systems at 50 & 100 volts for Satcom
  • Catalyst bed heaters for chemical propulsion
  • Heating solutions for Hall-effect thrusters

Scientific Mission :

  • Heating systems on Curiosity Rover
  • Heating elements on ISS for MSL
  • Heating elements for pyrolysor on Cassini-Huygens Titan probe

heating technology THERMOCOAX heating solution

Technical Application of pre-heating ring

The new generation of communication satellites is improved with more power available (13kW for E3000 platform) and allows the use of electrical propulsion systems for orbit raising and for all station-keeping manoeuvres, wheel offloading, station relocation and final re-orbiting for disposal.

The electrical propulsion system allows a significant reduction in spacecraft mass. A disadvantage is the average length of 8 months to raise the final orbit in comparison to a few days for chemical propulsion.

The first platform to be equipped with the THERMOCOAX pre-heating ring is the EUTELSAT172B, produced by Airbus Defense and Space, equipped with Russian FAKEL EPS.

Space electrical propulsion hall effect thruster

For faster startup and to protect the thruster from premature erosion, a pre-heating system is installed around the electrical thruster. Each pre-heating ring supplies 28 watts.

Technical Description of heated Ring

We use our best mineral-insulated cable.

Mineral-insulated cable with 2 resistive wires welded together at the tip to make one electrical loop.

Redundancy can be reached by using 2 separate heating cables with an outer diameter of 1mm or only 1 cable with 4 wires for 2 heating loops with a minimum outer diameter of 1.5mm.

drawing of heating element heating element

 

The cables are installed and brazed in the metallic ring.

To get the perfect dimensions and tolerance, the ring is reworked and then polished.

3D drawing of heating ring ring

 

3D drawing of polished product Finished product cleanless

 

Catalyst Bed Heater :

  • 2 redundant electrical loops
  • Nominal power supply: 28 to 55 volts
  • Power version per loop:
  • 30 watts under 70VDC
  • 60 watts with 2 loops activated
  • Max exposed temperature:
  • 1000°C with Inconel

Other power and voltage available.

Mineral-Insulated Cable :

Version exposed to 1000°C :

  • Inconel 600 sheath
  • 4 nickel-chromium wires

Xray cable Xray four wires heater

 

Lead Wires :

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

Acceptance Test Criteria of the catalyst bed heater :

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

 Test List for Qualification Program

THERMOCOAX manages and conducts the qualification test programme in accordance with our customer’s specification.

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

Most of the tests (thermal, humidity, electrical, etc.) on the space grade heating solutions are performed in THERMOCOAX’s labs.

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

List of Typical Qualification Tests on Catalyst Bed Heater :

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

 

vibration qualification graph Example of vibration spectral

Packaging and Cleanness :

Packaging is designed specifically to ensure excellent condition of the catalyst bed heater during transportation and storage :

packaging vacuum packaging

 

packaging marking packaging

 

THERMOCOAX supplies the new Hall-effect thruster with 1500 and 5000 watts, here are a few examples :

  • SMART1
  • Alphabus
  • Alphasat

To come :

  • SSL1300
  • E3000e
  • Boeing 702 platform

 

THERMOCOAX is the major player for onboard heating solutions for electrical thrusters and is proud to participate in challenging international space programmes.

THERMOCOAX’s focuses on high-quality heating products for maximum stability and repeatability during operation. We have understood our customers’ challenge to manufacture spacecrafts for over 20 years for a better life for human beings.

New large constellation programmes are currently in construction, THERMOCOAX is now ready to support the market with high-reliability and high efficiency heating ring for electrical thruster.

 

Thermocoax Isopad Heating Solutions for Drums Flexible Drum Heating Jacket Series IDR-G

isopad3Flexible Isopad Heating Jackets of Series IDR-G are easy to install around drums to warm up their content. They are insulated to provide the most efficient heat transfer. Therefore the heat is distributed towards the medium inside with less energy loss than most simple heating bands. In addition an optional flexible insulated cover from Isopad may be used for the top of the drum.

Rapid and direct heat-up times are generated through constant power output and digital control. Through the pre-installed controller unit on the jacket and the single power supply lead the heating jackets are a practical, flexible and space saving solution. The drum heating jackets are providing upmost efficiency at various application methods from frost protection to desired regulation of the viscosity of the medium.

Drum heating jackets are designed for use in ordinary areas (non-hazardous). The outer sheath is made of glass-fiber reinforced silicone which remains flexible yet sturdy. By using the right manufacturing method the design provides protection in wet areas of use (Ingress Protection up to IP65).

isopad4The heating jackets are installed using the Velcro tape which is mounted over the complete closure line. This method provides fast and easy installation with an optimum of fixation around the drum.

The materials used for the flexible drum heating jackets are suitable for operating temperatures up to 180°C. This operating range may be used for metal drums with suitable surface finish or paint. For drums made of plastic or composite we recommend a maximum operating temperature of 70°C depending on the material. For applications with lower performance ratings the power output may be reduced to save energy consumption.

The built-on controller unit junction box of the drum heating jackets is designed to provide direct adjustments of the control temperature as well as locking against use or change of settings. isopad5The housing is made of rigid plastic which provides protection against splashing water. After selection of the control temperature and other parameters the heating jacket can be operated using the ON and OFF main switch.

The heating jackets for drum are design mainly for use in industrial areas and shall therefore only be installed and operated by well trained staff and personnel.

Overview Product Features:

  • Fully insulated heating for best efficiency
  • Easy to use digital controller unit
  • Constant power output for rapid heat up times
  • For use on metal and plastic drums
  • Grounded heating element fulfills requirements to guideline 2006/95/EG
  • Regulation of viscosity
  • Frost protection
  • Maintaing temperature
  • Melting of solids
  • Warming up of Media
  • Thermal Mixing

Overview Technical Data:

  • Standard Sizes to fit drums of 200L volumes
  • Glass-fiber reinforced silicone outer sheath
  • 25 mm thermal insulation
  • Digital Controller with acoustic/optical alarm
  • Dielectric strength >2000 Volts
  • Flexible Power Supply Lead 1.8 m
  • Ingress Protection Level IP65
  • Electrical Protection Class I
  • Optional insulated cover for top

 

Thermocoax Isopad Heating Solutions Flexible Heating Cable Series FG200

isopad-whitepaperIsopad Heating Cables are already state of the art for most applications where easy installation processes are valued. Isopad has been a well know brand producing customized, high quality, factory terminated cables and tapes for decades.

Sometimes you just cannot determine the heated length needed for your application and you rather prefer to do-it-yourself. For this purpose we have now a new heating cable in our family of polymer insulated heating cables that may fit your requirements.

The new FG200 parallel constant wattage heating cable is a highly flexible and a cost efficient solution to maintain the process temperatures you need. It is easy to assemble and to install. It is available in different supply voltages and power output ratings.

isopad-whitepaper2

 

Take a look at our new product data sheet to see the different product performance properties.

Overview Product Features:

  • Constant Power Output
  • Parallel Design for single side termination
  • Highly Flexible polymer construction
  • Braided versions for additional safety
  • Field Termination
  • Easy Assembly and Installation
  • Operating Temperatures up to 180°