Based on SABCA’s Two-phase departement and the impulse of Pr. Jean-Claude Legros of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, EHP’s was born on the 30th of March 2001 with the vision to conquer the enormous potential of Two-Phase technology in space applications.
With the addition of more than 20 years of SABCA’s knowledge and heritage, EHP boasts at least 40 years of experience and expertise.
Today, as a subsidiairy of Airbus Defence & Space and the support of the SRIW and SOGEPA, EHP is the European leader for the delivery of cooling solutions for space applications.
With its EN9100 certification and decidated in house facilities, we have expanded the product porfolio to 3 major product branches :
Heat pipes (CCHP & VCHP)
Thermal Systems (using loop heat pipes)
In its 20 years of history, EHP has grown to become in 2021 a company employing close to 100 highly skilled people.
In the next year, we hope to share with you a piece of this history with a monthly bulletin.
And of course, we will be rocking our new logo until March 2022 !
The EU funded projects PIPS and I3PS targeted the energy saving of planes, within the Cleansky 2 research program, by developing a new anti-icing system.
Both projects enabled to develop a new technology (PIPS) and to test it under relevant environment (I3PS).
This new concept uses wasted heat from the engine to bring it to the Engine Air Intake zone of turbo propeller planes which must be protected against icing.
The project PIPS developed a new system of Capillary Pumped Loop (CPL, patent pending) to be used to protect against icing the engine air intake of a mid size turboprop aircraft using hot air as heat source.
The system was tested in laboratory with a 1:1 scale model (TRL4) showing heat transport capability exceeding the requirements (7.2 kW transport weighting less than 10kg). Able to adapt to various flight situations, the CPL is automatically controlled and almost completely passive as it spends less than 2% of the transported heat for this.
Within the frame of the I3PS project, the concept was modified to integrate the condenser within the skin itself of the Engine Air Intake. Finally, the prototype was tested for the first time in an Icing Wind Tunnel. With an icing air from ambient to -30°C and airspeed from 0 to 80m/s, the concept was able to transport up to 8.8kW and showed the potential for use as ice protection (test showed that high accretion areas needed a fine detail which was not possible to finish during the project).
With the unique possibility of
controlling the working temperature of the fluid in the system loop,
independently of the hot source, the concept is validated in a relevant
environment and adaptable to many applications.
The Eurostar Neo Deployment and Pointing System, developed by Airbus Defense and Space (F) and Euro Heat Pipes (B) in the frame of ESA’s Neosat Partnership Project, is qualified and ready for flight.
The new Airbus Defense and Space Eurostar Neo satellite product line offers one of the largest communication payload capacities on the world market. This is in particular enabled by the Deployment and Pointing System which repositions the electric thrusters throughout the mission to optimise system performance.
The Deployment and Pointing System, developed by Airbus Defense and Space (F) and EHP (B), under test in Airbus Toulouse facility (Image credit: Airbus Defense and Space)
Qualification testing of the Deployable and Pointing System has recently been completed, covering all aspects of environmental, functional and performance requirements, including hold-down, release, and arm deployment sequences. In-orbit validation is planned in 2021, on-board the first Eurostar Neo mission.
Fourteen Neosat satellites have now been ordered, demonstrating the high economic impact of ESA’s Partnership Projects, which also foster the development of sustainable end-to-end systems up to in-orbit validation.
The objective of the Neosat Partnership Projects is to develop and qualify the next generation platforms allowing the two European satellite prime integrators, Airbus DS and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) to deliver competitive satellites for the commercial satellite market. The projects include development up to in-orbit validation of the new platform product lines for both Prime contractors, Eurostar Neo for Airbus DS and Spacebus Neo for Thales Alenia Space.
On telecommunication applications, the Heat Pipes are used in different ways. They can collect heat from several dissipative equipment in order to either spread the heat over large radiator panel or transport heat from hot area to cold area.
Use of Direct Manufacturing technology for manufacturing heat pipes is not foreseen to improve mass or cost at piece part level. The improvement will come from an optimization between the Heat Pipe heat transport capacity and the Heat Pipe heat transfer performance. A large amount of Heat Pipes are used to transfer efficiently heat through the spacecraft. There are several ways to dissipate heat from spacecraft internal equipment’s using heat pipes. The objective of this project has been to study and develop a heat transfer technology based on Heat Pipes and the benefits of direct manufacturing technology in order to improve the standard HP performances and improve heat collection, heat transport and heat spreading. The proposed concept has been implemented in a representative configuration of dissipative payload mounted on inner spacecraft floor which reject its heat to the radiator walls.
The main challenges were:
to identify the main requirements and potential benefits of the new technology;
to define the new product: Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) Heat Pipes (HP);
to bind the ALM parts and extruded HP parts;
to quantify the advantage of these newly combined HP system which integrate ALM parts in classical HP;
to identify possible applications of this improvement.
The newly assembly:
Enables much larger interface between heat source and the HP as it incorporates spreader capabilities;
Reduce dimensions in case of non-linear HP;
Has better thermal performance than classical HP (overall conductivity);
Enables more complex designs of heat transfer systems.
The product tested are two different configurations of linking between classically extruded HP and ALM HP which are compared to classical HP linking. The larger linking part between these new types of HP made by ALM and classical HP, enables larger heat exchange surface area. This explains the large benefit in terms of thermal performance. The additive manufacturing technique enables to design the ALM HP with much more possibilities: it removes some limitation due to the extrusion technique.
Three architectures were tested which involves 3 inline HP each:
3 classically extruded HP;
2 extruded in parallel at hot source, 2 at cold sink and 1 larger ALM linked HP in between;
1 extruded in parallel at hot source, 1 at cold sink and 1 larger ALM linked HP in between;
The following main stages have been successfully run:
Material and process test;
Manufacturing Engineering Model (EM);
EM results correlation;
Proposal for further work.
At the end of the project, concept of ALM HP have been successfully demonstrated to be useful and highly performant. The partners have benefit from a significant gain in ALM process knowledge that will enable short term consideration of this technology on flight opportunities.
Additional development activities must be performed in order to finalize some processes essentially in terms of design to costs aspects.
Several ongoing projects are looking intensively on this technology to be baselined in the thermal / mechanical architecture of the platform and / or instrument.
SEVERAL THOUSAND NOVEL HEAT PIPES ARE NOW BEING PRODUCED EACH YEAR BY BELGIAN COMPANY EURO HEAT PIPES, FOLLOWING ITS PARTICIPATION IN ESA’S EUROSTAR NEO PARTNERSHIP PROJECT.
Working with satellite manufacturer Airbus, Eurostar Neo is dedicated to developing, qualifying and validating Airbus’ next-generation satellite platform for the core satellite communications market.
Because this new generation of satellite is larger and more powerful than the previous one, it has driven demand for further innovation in thermal control technologies while answering market needs for ever improved cost competitiveness and shortened satellite manufacturing schedules.
Airbus and ESA selected Euro Heat Pipes in Belgium to provide a reliable supply of thousands of heat pipes to transport the heat from the hottest parts of the satellite to the cool areas radiating to deep space. The challenge was huge as it involved a wide range of shapes, lengths and performance specifications as well as kilometres of heat pipes needed for each Eurostar Neo satellite.
The development and preparation for such a large-scale production of a wide range of heat pipes required significant financial investment by industry. Being part of a large-scale ESA Partnership Project such as Eurostar Neo reduces the risk to industry’s investment and offers a direct opportunity for in-orbit validation.
Through this project, Euro Heat Pipes has grown its production capacity from a few hundred to several thousands of heat pipes per year. The company has also recruited several additional staff and improved its product standardisation.
Heat pipes ready for delivery
The successful collaboration has helped Euro Heat Pipes to grow into a competitive, reliable, high-volume capacity supplier of a large heat pipe portfolio on the world market.
Eurostar Neo is part of ESA’s ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) Programme element Neosat to develop and qualify two new satellite product lines, one with Airbus and one with Thales Alenia Space, enabling the European space industry to deliver commercially competitive satellites in the 3 – 6 tonnes launch mass range. The programme includes the in-orbit validation of the new platforms. To date 12 satellites have been sold, enabling a projected return on investment for participating states exceeding €20 for every €1 invested.
Neosat is a joint undertaking between ESA and the French Space Agency (CNES) with joint programme management and contributions from several member states, including Belgium.
As a socially responsible Company, we pay special attention to the evolution of the Covid-19 and to our employees and partners protection.
As a consequence, EHP has decided to strictly follow the rules and decisions communicated by the Belgian Authorities.
For the moment, activity is maintained on a 4/5 reduced schedule with special distancing restrictions.
This activity is programmed to continue until May the 3rd with possible extension to May 17th depending on Belgium’s federal government decision to extend currently applied containment conditions in Belgium.
Our teams remain at your disposal should you have possible questions regarding our activities at this stage.
developing the CAS500-1 system, to meet the public needs for satellite images
efficiently, to expand the domestic satellite industrial base, to cultivate
related industry, and to promote satellite exports.
series will adopt the medium-sized standard platform which will be developed
for the CAS500-1 system. It will save the time and cost for the development
considerably. And domestically developed payloads, such as electro-optical
cameras, microwave probes and hyper-spectral imager will be installed on the
program is divided into phase I and phase II. In phase I, 500kg class standard
platform will be developed. And two 0.5m resolution electro-optical satellites
(CAS500-1 and CAS500-2) will be developed by using that platform.
developing the CAS500-1 system, KARI will transfer the satellite technologies
accumulated over the years to the domestic industry and the CAS500-2 whose
specification is identical to that of CAS500-1, will be developed by domestic
will be launched in 2019 and CAS500-2 in 2020.
can be easily commercialized as it can be developed in a relatively short
period of time at a low cost compared to medium to large sized commercial
satellite. In addition to that, by developing multiple satellites in a short
time and operating them simultaneously, it will help satisfy various public
needs for earth observation and reduce the observation interval.
Thales Alenia Space has delivered the first Spacebus Neo payload
module structure, including the first ever Mechanically Pumped Loop (MPL) to be
mounted on a telecommunication satellite designed for 15 years of in-orbit
service. It will be flown on the SES-17 satellite that is due to start service
operations in 2021.
Telecommunication satellites generate substantial amounts of
heat that need to be harvested from the payload and spread over large
radiators, where it dissipates into cold space. Conventionally, the hottest
units are placed right onto the radiators. This relatively simple scheme
reaches its limits when the payload becomes more demanding, as is the case for
recent Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) missions proposed by several 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 VHTS missions.
MPL-based thermal control opens a completely new way to design,
manufacture and test high-capacity, digitally processed telecommunication
Thales Alenia Space, France, developed the thermal control of
Spacebus Neo satellites under ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in
Telecommunications Systems Neosat Partnership Project and the French PIA
(“Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir”).
The Partnership Project has helped to derisk partners’
investment by developing this disruptive technology and thereby achieve a
competitive leap forward in the highly dynamic VHTS satellite market. This was
achieved thanks to the combined expertise and excellent collaboration of Thales
Alenia Space, ESA, the French Space Agency CNES and SES, the customer of the
Spacebus Neo module with its novel thermal control system.
EHP contributes to this development as the provider of new generation of heat exchanger.