EHP’s on break !

Just to let you know, EHP is closed for its summer break from the 1st to the 15th of August 2022.

We are talking some well deserved rest to come back with energy to tackle your projects.

Work will resume on the 16th of August.

EnMAP thermal cooling system kicked into the right orbit

By Dominik LANG (OHB) & Olivier BERDER (EHP)

Last news update from OHB, dated May 5, 2022:

On April 1, 2022, at 6:24 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST), EnMAP started its journey into space as the largest payload on a Falcon 9 rocket from the US space company SpaceX from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

EnMAP on top of the encapsulated Falcon 9’s fairing. Copyright Space-X

After acquisition of the mission reference orbit on April 9, 2022, EnMAP successfully completed its Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) on April 14, 2022.

The satellite operations are proven to be safe, the X-band downlink is verified using housekeeping data, and all launch locks are released. The activation of the instrument’s thermal control system has shown to be in particular challenging. The thermal control system for the Visible and Near InfraRed (VNIR) camera is already successfully activated.

On April 27, 2022, EnMAP captured the first light image. It recorded a strip about 30 kilometers wide and 180 kilometers long over Istanbul on the Bosporus in Turkey with Europe and Asia, and then downlinked and processed the data. The applied calibration was based on data measured by the instrument in the laboratory. These first images already give a good foretaste of what can be expected by EnMAP. The high quality in all channels is well visible on the one hand in low noise and disturbing image fringes in the extensive dynamic range, which is especially evident in dark areas like water, and on the other hand in typical spectral profiles.

The German satellite EnMAP
Credit: DLR

EnMAP mission:

The EnMAP environmental mission is managed by the German Space Agency at DLR on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). OHB-System AG has been contracted to develop and build the satellite and its hyperspectral instrument. The Ground Segment is realized by the German Space Operations Center (GSOC). The mission is under the scientific management of the GeoForschungszentrum Potsdam (GFZ).

The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) is a German hyperspectral satellite mission to monitoring and characterise Earth’s environment on a global scale. EnMAP measures and models key dynamic processes of Earth’s ecosystems by extracting geochemical, biochemical and biophysical parameters that provide information on the status and evolution of various terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

The German satellite EnMAP
Credit: OHB/H. von der Fecht

The Instrument Thermal Cooling System (ITCS), EHP and Airbus D&S contribution:

The instrument consists of a telescope coupled to two dispersive spectrometers for the visible near infrared (VNIR) and the short wave infrared (SWIR). The dispersive elements are curved glass prisms while the structure and mirror elements are made of aluminum. Two custom high performance 2-D detector arrays record the spectrally and spatially resolved signals allowing to form the hyperspectral image data sets. In addition to the typical thermal control requirements system level radiometric and spectral performance requirements in combination with operational boundary conditions are identified as major design drivers for the thermal control architecture.

In nominal operational conditions the Instrument Thermal Control System (ITCS) is required to control the spatial gradients over the telescope assembly and the spectrometers to less than 2 °C for 5 years as well as stabilizing temperatures to better than ± 0.3 °C per week. The ITCS must incorporate a second cold redundant SWIR FPA including spectrometer mounted front end electronics as well as a redundant cryo-cooling system. The operations concept with frequent mode switching for data takes and very limited spacecraft power and volume resources have resulted in a sophisticated ITCS design involving extensive use of actively controlled two-phase heat transport devices.

The ITCS uses a configuration of 12 loop heat pipes in controlled variable conductance mode to transport heat from the dissipating units mounted on the optical assembly to a radiator. EHP and Airbus D&S was involved on the Project in order to perform the detailed design of the Instrument Optical Unit Thermal Control SubSystem (IOU-TCSS), being part of the ITCS, based on mini loop heat pipe technology after completion of a first breadboard demonstrator, and then the manufacturing and thermal performance testing of the cooling system before delivery to OHB. Reservoir control heaters used as actuators in a cascade control loop architecture allow regulating the effective LHP conductance such that the equipment temperature is stabilized. Operating the reservoir control in a specific inhibition mode allows to use the LHPs as switchable thermal links in order to efficiently incorporate the redundant SWIR FPA and redundant LHPs. The optical assemblies are stabilized using a classical distributed heater concept in conjunction with an active thermal control and large area passive radiative heat disposal. The EnMAP HSI STDM thermal vacuum campaign has successfully demonstrated before flight the ability of the system to meet the requirements and the ITCS operational concepts necessary for implementing such a complex system.

Deployment of the radiator panels at EHP premises
Full equipped radiator panel

Few words from Dominik Lang (OHB):

MiniLHP evaporator and gold plated lines network

The Instrument Optical Unit – Thermal Control SubSystem based on miniLHP technology, developed and manufactured by Airbus D&S and EHP, implemented in a temperature controlled configuration provides enormous flexibility in terms of thermal design and allows to cope with challenging mission boundary conditions. It allows to stabilize different equipment to 21°C +/- 1°C while subsystem mode switching and orbit maneuvers are performed. From customer perspective It is highly recommended to take the system into account in un early project development phase in order to correctly implement all required system interfaces and to implement the required operational concept. OHB System AG would like to thank Airbus D&S and EHP for the great work which has been done under the contract and the cooperative collaboration the last years.      

The work presented in was performed on behalf of the German Space Agency DLR with funds of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology under the grant No. 50 EP 0801

Credits:

https://www.enmap.org/

https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/6.2013-3327

https://www.dlr.de/content/de/artikel/missionen-projekte/enmap/enmap-ueberblick-daten.html

https://www.phoenix.de/mission-enmap-a-2730959.html

https://www.dlr.de/content/de/artikel/news/2022/02/20220504_deutscher-umweltsatellit-enmap-sendet-erste-bilder.html

EHP on board Juice

Euro Heat Pipes work is quoted in the newspaper “l’Echo” in an article dedicated to the space probe JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) which will explore the icy moons of Jupiter named Ganymede, Europa and Callisto.

Credits to ESA for the illustration picture

We can be proud of our contribution to this space probe JUICE which is noteworthy in many ways:

  • This is the first time that an European probe will go so far in the solar sytem
  • Beyond providing the heat pipes for the probe, we have also performed dedicated studies & trials to assess the impact of the radiations (much harsher around Jupiter) on our products.
  • This probe will leave Earth in 2023 and will make an incredible trip to reach Jupiter:
    • After leaving Earth,
    • it will pass by Venus in 2025
    • will come back close to Earth in 2026
    • will go beyond Mars …
    • but will come back close to Earth, one more time, in 2029
    • and will finally reach Jupiter moons in 2031

Why such a complicated journey ?

A tremendous amount of energy is required to reach the outer solar system. In order to cap the fuel quantity onboard, the probe will make several gravity-assist maneuvers (also called swing-by): by entering and leaving the gravitational sphere of influence of a planet, which is orbiting around the Sun, the probe will be able to accelerate (and also to change direction) with no fuel consumption.

Here is a short video showing this journey : 5 Gravity-Assist Flybys Will Get ESA’s JUICE To Jupiter | Video – YouTube

Subsidiary at 51% of Airbus since 2017, Euro Heat Pipes (EHP) company, based in Nivelles (Belgium), has delivered a set of 27 heat pipes (thermal control systems for spacecraft) which allow the transfer of the excess heat to cold areas of the spacecraft.

Full article on “l’Echo” website:
De la technologie belge pour scruter les lunes de Jupiter | L’Echo (lecho.be)


Heat Pipes Development, Qualification and Industrialisation

EHP has completed its major TELECOM ARTES 4.0 project with ESA funds.

Objectives

The 3 mains goals of this ESA & EHP co-funded project are:

  • Achieve a major increase in terms of EHP heat pipes production capacity 
  • Achieve a major decrease in terms of EHP heat pipes production cost
  • Develop & qualify a new heat pipe product (AG128) for OneWeb project

Challenges

Although heat pipes are well-known products at EHP since decades, its industrialisation (reliable and stable production of large volumes) remained undeveloped.

Improvement of manufacturing processes efficiency and beat rates were challenges.

heat pipe marking with 2D barcode
Example of EHP heat pipe with its marking

Benefits

Thanks to the increase of production during the last years, EHP is in a very good situation to propose products with a demonstrated reliability, produced within an existing production line, whose capacity has been demonstrated.

Features

Heat pipes allow to transport a significant amount of heat (typically 100 Watts) over a significant length (typically a few meters), within a negligible thermal gradient (typically a few degrees); which is thousands of times more efficient than thermal straps. 

Example of a heat pipe batch during manufacturing

They are also very reliable as they have no moving parts, which is key for space industry.

Example of heat pipe during machining at EHP
Example of heat pipe during machining

System Architecture

Heat pipes are used at spacecraft level for their thermal control. They are mounted on panels or embedded into panels.Plan

Plan

Several phases of industrialization were defined and deployed within EHP workshop in order to implement gradually the updates.Current status

Current Status

Project is successfully completed.

This huge increase of the EHP deliveries transformed EHP into a major worldwide space heat pipes manufacturer.

This also permitted EHP:

  • To extend its marketshare in traditional sectors (European SatCom)
  • To reach new markets (US satellite manufacturers)

From a socio-economic point of view, deployed production line creates 11 full-time jobs at EHP (+ indirect jobs e.g. subco level)

Beyond the scope of this ESA project

Over the years, EHP has grown from a small 600m² facility to working areas spread over 3 buildings for a total of 4500m².
This is not enough for the activities forecasted in the next years With the major OneSat project arriving, and with our heat pipe production continuing to grow, EHP needs much more space.

In 2019, the idea of a new modern building was put on the table. Two years later, in May 2021, the work of a brand new 10 000m² facility has begun

New infrastructure consists of 8000m² of industrial areas, including a 2000m² clean room for the assembly of our thermal and deployable systems. Additionally, it includes a nice 2000m² office building that will offer a well-being working environment to all of us.

The first part of the project, the industrial hall and half of the clean room, are to be delivered in the beginning of 2022. The offices and the rest of the clean room are to be available 6 months later, and the final industrial areas for machining and logistics in the beginning of 2023.

Source :https://artes.esa.int/projects/heat-pipes-development-qualification-and-industrialisation

SVOM instruments puzzle is finalized

MXT and ECLAIRs instrument for Franco-Chinese satellite SVOM have finalized their assembly at CNES TOULOUSE. They are now ready to undergo its testing phase – a complete torture phase for space components.

ECLAIRs instrument fully integrated which aims to detect and study gamma ray bursts in gamma-ray domain. Credits : CNES/FG.

The MXT instrument, assembled, one of the 4 instruments of the Franco Chinese SVOM satellite which aims to localize and study gamma ray bursts in X-ray domain. .

Photos Photo credits : CNES/DE PRADA Thierry, 2021

« Every element of the instruments, whether it is MXT or the ECLAIRs telescope have been manufactured by industrials and laboratories in France or in Europe” explains François Gonzalez, Project Manager SVOM. “They arrived at CNES in loose parts, and we had to be assembled .

Instruments’ cameras and radiators have been integrated this 2021 summer in the CNES clean rooms (see photos) . they are now ready to leave for space with expected performances validated.

Torture phase :

The 2 « assembled » instruments have performed a complete testing campaign (from June to October 2021 ) which validate their good performance, but mostly their resistance to extreme conditions which are expected during the lift off and in space. Vibration and shock tests, electromagnetic compatibility, thermal vacuum tests as well : for 3 to 4 weeks, 24h/24.

MXT and ECLAIRs have  been submitted to temperature variations within a range of -60°C & +50°C. “A critical phase, which will be controlled permanently by CNES specialists”.

Photos Photo credits : CNES/DE PRADA Thierry, 2021

Beginning of 2022, MXT & ECLAIRs instruments will be sent to China where they will be installed on the SVOM Satellite for lift-off planned mid 2023.

Avoid « Heat Strokes »

Among others to function correctly, MXT detector , at the heart of the instrument, must be maintained at -65°C precisely for an optimal performance. The instrument will be capable of regulating its own temperature even though the satellite, in space, will be subject to extreme temperature variations between -150°C and +150°C. The architecture of the instrument itself allow to control its temperature at its core with Thermal Electrical Coolers piloted by an onboard software and with Propylene Heat Pipes (aluminums profiles filled with an inert gas) transfer the excessive heat to a radiator and evacuate it to space.

ECLAIRs instrument uses also a heat pipes network in order to maintain its 6400 detectors fixed at the focal plane at -20°C and transfer the heat to space with a large aluminum radiator.

Euro Heat Pipes with its Airbus Defense & Space partner were responsible for the Design & Manufacturing of both MXT & ECLAIRs radiator and thermal bus sub-assemblies which participate at the good function and performance of the instrument optics.

Copyright CNES – Source : https://spacegate.cnes.fr/fr/quezako-le-puzzle-est-termine

Translation by Alexandre van Haute / Karine Mercier

Euro heat pipes (EHP) on-board of SES-17 satellite

The SES-17 satellite was successfully launched into space onboard an Ariane 5 launcher operated by Arianespace from the Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou on October 23rd 2021.

Credit: www.ses.com

Built by Thales Alenia Space, SES-17 marks an important milestone in satellite technology as the first Ka-band geostationary satellite to embark a fully digital payload powered the most powerful digital transparent processor (DTP) ever placed in orbit.

Credit: www.thalesgroup.com

This satellite is equipped with the first ever Mechanically pumped Loop (MPL) to be mounted on a telecommunication satellite!

The MPL is made of a network of pipes and a mechanical pump, which circulates a refrigerant fluid to collect heat wherever it is created and transport it to the radiators. This makes it possible to maximise use of the available surface inside the satellite, to accommodate the repeaters required for large Very High Throughput Satellite missions.

Credit: www.thalesgroup.com

EHP is proud to have contributed to the development and to have supplied this new generation of heat exchangers.

Sources:

https://www.thalesgroup.com/fr/monde/espace/news/le-satellite-ses-17-arrive-guyane-francaise

https://www.ses.com/press-release/ses-17-successfully-launched-ariane-5

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Telecommunications_Integrated_Applications/Very_High_Throughput_Satellite_ready_to_pump_heat

Euro Heat Pipes (EHP) on-board of the 11th OneWeb launch

OneWeb Launch #11 (Flight ST36) is scheduled to depart 14 October at 6:40pm local time (5:40am ET / 9:40am UTC), with 36 satellites on board and marks one of the most exciting advances yet for OneWeb’s global communications network.

The launch will take place from the Vostochny Cosmodrome and will be conducted by Arianespace. You can view the Launch #11 event live on the website OneWeb.net, or @oneweb – Youtube.

Each of these satellites includes several EHP heat pipes, designed & manufactured within our premises in Nivelles, Belgium.

Our fully-passive heat pipes, equipped with a capillary structure and filled with high-purity ammonia, are a key part of the satellite thermal control.

The dual phase system enables the satellite & the payload to remain within a limited temperature range, despite the very harsh space environment.

Video of the launch preparation activities: https://youtu.be/miBoIVQqSPw

Pictures of the launch preparation activities:

La grappe de satellites OneWeb accrochés à leur dispensaire.

Credits for pictures & video to the full article : https://kosmosnews.fr/2021/10/06/lancement-oneweb-l11-les-satellites-encapsules-a-vostochny/

OneWeb : Mission accomplished !

[In French below]

OneWeb : Mission accomplished !

In 2016, the OneWeb project started a new era for EHP with the manufacturing of several thousands of heat pipes within a timeframe of a few years.

In July 2021, 5 years later, EHP celebrated the last shipment of this contract. Mission accomplished!

– the several thousands of heat pipes have been manufactured and 40% of them are already in orbit.

– heat pipes production at EHP has been transformed: while around 100 items were manufactured on a yearly basis before the OneWeb project, yearly production reached 3000 items. This high level of production is ensured for the next years through new contracts.

– new infrastructure have been developed and a new factory is under construction.

– EHP became one of the world leaders of space-application heat pipes and has significantly increased its market share.

Regarding the OneWeb constellation:

OneWeb is a constellation of 648 telecommunication satellites orbiting in low earth orbit (1200 km) to supply from 2022 onwards a high-speed internet for private and commercial customers in non-land serviced regions.

See https://www.oneweb.world

OneWeb : Mission accomplie !

En 2016 commençait une nouvelle page pour EHP avec le lancement du projet OneWeb, pour la fabrication de milliers de caloducs en quelques années.

En juillet 2021, 5 ans plus tard, EHP célèbre la dernière livraison du contrat. Mission accomplie !

– les milliers de caloducs ont été fabriqués et livrés et 40% d’entre eux sont déjà en vol.

– la production de caloducs chez EHP a été industrialisée, en passant d’environ 100 caloducs par an avant 2015, à 3000 caloducs par an aujourd’hui. Ce niveau de production est assuré pour les années à venir via de nouveaux contrats.

– de nouvelles infrastructures ont été développées et une nouvelle usine est en cours de construction.

– EHP est devenu un des leaders mondiaux de la production de caloducs pour l’industrie spatiale et a su accroitre considérablement ses parts de marché.

Concernant la constellation OneWeb :

OneWeb est une constellation de 648 satellites de télécommunications circulant sur une orbite basse (1200 km) pour fournir aux particuliers et aux entreprises, à partir de 2022, un accès Internet à haut débit via satellite, en particulier dans les régions non desservies par des liaisons terrestres.

Voir https://www.oneweb.world

Photos : Cedric MURI https://www.instagram.com/cedricmuri/

Euro Heat Pipes on its way to the North Pole!

Source : https://www.oneweb.world/assets/news/media/Small-OW-1223_8-Launch8-HELLO-press-image-210x297mm-AW01.jpg

What:

OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, will launch 36 satellites (EHP Heat Pipes onboard) on Thursday, 1 July 2021, marking the completion of its ‘Five to 50’ ambition enabling connectivity services for the first time to the 50th parallel and above by the year end.

Each of these satellites includes a set of several heat pipes manufactured by Euro Heat Pipes in Belgium. This new launch will bring the total number of in-flight satellites to 254.

Service demonstrations will begin this summer in several key locations – including Alaska and Canada – as OneWeb prepares for full commercial service in these regions in the next six months. Offering enterprise grade connectivity services, the company has already announced distribution partnerships across several industries including with ROCK Networks, AST Group, PDI, Alaska Communications and others, as OneWeb expands its global capabilities. The company continues to engage with telecommunications providers, ISPs, governments and more worldwide to offer its low latency, high speed connectivity services and sees growing demand for new connectivity services to connect the hardest to reach places.

Why:

This launch adds another 36 satellites to OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver global connectivity and represents 100 percent of the satellites required to enable its solution to reach all regions north of 50 degrees latitude.

This launch will enable OneWeb to offer full connectivity services across the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, continental U.S., the Arctic Seas and Canada. Commercial service is expected to be rolled out before the end of the year, and OneWeb intends to make global service available in 2022.

To mark the fifth and final launch of ‘Five to 50’, with all satellites delivered on time, a welcome message “Hello North Pole” is branded on the rocket, reflecting the significant progress OneWeb has made to secure its Arctic coverage.

Why the Arctic?

https://www.oneweb.world/assets/news/media/OneWeb-ArcticRoundableWhitepaper.pdf

https://www.oneweb.world/assets/news/media/OneWeb-ArcticRoundableWhitepaper.pdf

When:

The launch is scheduled to take place on 1 July 2021 at 13:48 BST / 8:48 AM ET / 4:48 AM Alaska / 12:48:33 UTC / 9:48 Vostochny.

Where:

The launch will take place from the Vostochny Cosmodrome and will be conducted by Arianespace.

How to watch:

Livestream available on the following channels with programming beginning at 13:30 BST/8:30 ET/ 12:30 UTC.

OneWeb Websitewww.oneweb.net

YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/c/OneWebofficial/videos

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/onewebofficial/live/

Construction of ‘New EHP’

2021 will remain a particular year for EHP…

Besides celebrating the 20 years of EHP, this year also marks the beginning of the ‘new EHP’ !

Over the years, EHP has grown from a small 600m² facility to working areas spread over 4 buildings for a total of 4500m².

Enough ? Not at all ! With the major OneSat project arriving, and with our heat pipe production continuing to double every year, EHP needs much more space.

In 2019, the idea of a new modern building was put on the table. Two years later, in May 2021, the work of a brand new 10 000m² facility has begun !

By the beginning of 2023, EHP will have close to 8000m² of industrial areas, including a 2000m² clean room for the assembly of our thermal and deployable systems. Our teams will also be reassembled together in a nice 2000m² office building that will offer a well-being working environment to all of us.

The first part of the project, the industrial hall and half of the clean room, should be delivered in the beginning of 2022. The offices and the rest of the clean room should be available 6 months later, and the final industrial areas for machining and logistics will close the project in the beginning of 2023.

With these new facilities, EHP is now ready for the next 20 years !