News

BepiColombo MCS PFM in the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF)

BepiColombo mechanical test campaign full steam ahead

14 June 2017

BepiColombo is now heading for their vibration test after successfully passing the acoustic noise test in ESA's large European acoustic facility. All spacecraft modules are now in stacked configuration and will be shaken to qualify for launch.

In the coming weeks the team from Thales Alenia Space Italy, Airbus and JAXA will be analysing huge data sets acquired during the upcoming vibration test. After the vibration test, centre of gravity and moments of inertia will be determined and finally the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) undergoes its final space simulation test in ESA's Large Space Simulator.

BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership.

METOP C PLM inside LSS

MetOp C Payload Module FM3 Test Campaign at ETS/ESTEC

13 March 2017

After arrival in January this year, MetOp C Payload Module (PLM) is ready for thermal vacuum testing inside ESA's Large Space Simulator (LSS). From today the payload module will see vacuum and harsh space conditions for 3 weeks. During this period engineers from ESA, Airbus, CNES, NASA/NOOA, Thales and EUMETSAT will perform various functional tests. ETS is responsible for operating the LSS and additional thermal subsystems to supply with liquid nitrogen and Helium at 30K the instrument targets simulating deep space environment.

MetOp is a series of three satellites developed under responsibility of ESA and operated by the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). MetOp's payload module carries 11 scientific and meteorological instruments and the satellite provides Search and Rescue services.

BepiColombo MPO PFM on the mass properties measurement facility

BepiColombo mechanical test campaign started

03 March 2017

BepiColombo is now heading for their acoustic noise and vibration tests this Summer. Before all spacecraft modules will be stacked and shaken to qualify for launch, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter's (MPO) centre of gravity and inertia have been measured on ESA's mass property measurement facilities.

In the coming weeks the team from Thales Alenia Space, Airbus and JAXA is preparing each module to be integrated into a stacked spacecraft. After the vibration and acoustic tests, mass property measurements will be performed on the stack and finally the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) undergoes its final space simulation test in ESA's Large Space Simulator.

BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to Mercury and is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership.

Sentinel 2B packed into its container

Sentinel 2B completed its Test Campaign at ETS/ESTEC

28 November 2016

After its arrival mid of June 2016, the packing of the Sentinel-2B satellite last week into its container closes another successful chapter at ETS. The satellite and related equipment are now in storage before the cargo departs from Amsterdam Schiphol to Kourou in French Guiana early in January 2017.

Sentinel-2B is an earth observation satellite that is part of the Copernicus Programme. Its mission is to monitor land with a constellation of two satellites (Sentinel 2A launched in June 2015 and Sentinel-2B due for launch in March 2017) in order to provide multispectral high revisit and high resolution optical imagery of all land emerging masses and coastal areas.

As prime contractor, Airbus DS GmbH in Friedrichshafen is responsible for the design, development, manufacturing, integration and test of the satellite. ETS is responsible for the operation of ESA's test facilities.

Disclaimer: This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA.

Sentinel 2B (right) passing by BepiColombo MTM

Busy Summer at ETS/ESTEC

25 August 2016

Despite the summer holiday period the activities at ETS are continuing on a high level. For the first time in the company's history the ETS and the ESA test centre host a record number of eleven spacecraft at one time. This includes various flight models of the BepiColombo, Galileo and Sentinel programmes. ETS coordinates and manages the related test campaigns and operates the required facilities for customers Airbus, ESA, OHB and Thales Alenia Space Italy.

Sentinel 2B inside the Large Space Simulator

Sentinel 2B Test Campaign at ETS/ESTEC

21 July 2016

After arrival mid of June, Sentinel 2B just successfully finished thermal vacuum testing inside ESA's Large Space Simulator. Next planned test is the EMC test inside the Maxwell EMC chamber.

Sentinel-2B is an earth observation satellite that is part of the Copernicus Programme. Its mission is to monitor land with a constellation of two satellites (Sentinel 2A) in order to provide high resolution optical imagery by a Multispectral Imager.

As prime contractor, Airbus DS GmbH is responsible for the design, development and integration of the satellite. ETS is responsible for the operation of ESA's test facilities.

Disclaimer: This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA.

Mercury Planetary Orbiter in the Maxwell EMC Facility

BepiColombo MPO PFM successfully finishes Radiated EMC test

16 December 2015

Last week the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) flight model has successfully finished its Radiated EMC Test in the Maxwell EMC facility. The test was composed out of EMC launcher compatibility, MPO EMC auto-compatibility and radiofrequency auto-compatibility.

The MPO is ESA's scientific contribution to the BepiColombo mission to Mercury and has been developed and integrated by Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space Italy.

In order to perform the Radiated EMC test a dedicated setup has been provided by ETS in cooperation with 'Machinefabriek West-End B.V.' This setup consists of a base frame which support the MPO multipurpose trolley including MPO and the motion / turning system for the RF transparent tower supporting the high gain antenna. With the aid of the motion system it was possible to adjust the MPO high gain antenna exactly in the required test position.

The next BepiColombo test is the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) Thermal Vacuum and Balance Test in ESTEC's Large Space Simulator.

CHEOPS SQM in the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF)

CHEOPS SQM successfully finishes Acoustic Noise Test

09 November 2015

Last week CHEOPS SQM has successfully finished acoustic noise testing in the LEAF.

The Characterising EXOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) is provided by Airbus Defence & Space Spain, the CHEOPS mission is a partnership between Switzerland and ESA's science programme. This mission is dedicated to search for transits by means of ultrahigh precision photometry on bright stars already known to host planets.

In a few months the PFM test campaign will start for which ETS will perform the Acoustic and EMC tests.

IXV PFM on QUAD Vibration Facility

Successful finish of IXV PFM Test Campaign

18 September 2014

The IXV PFM Test Campaign at ETS/ESTEC has successfully finished and in the next days IXV and its supporting equipment will be transferred to Kourou for launch in November this year.

Within three months mass property measurements, vibration tests, acoustic noise tests and a shock release test have been accomplished plus all kinds of functional tests to pass flight qualification.

The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) is a European Space Agency (ESA) experimental re-entry vehicle intended to validate
European reusable launchers. Prime contractor of IXV is Thales Alenia Space Italia SpA.

Heat Shield in front of High Flux Shroud

Solar Orbiter Heat Shield finishes Thermal Balance Test

16 May 2014

This week the Solar Orbiter Heat Shield has successfully finished thermal vacuum testing in the LSS by applying 10 times the
normal sun intensity in an Earth orbit onto the Heat Shield!
The Solar Orbiter spacecraft is being developed by Airbus Defence & Space UK under an ESA contract. Thales Alenia Space Italia
is responsible for the spacecraft's Heat Shield.

ESA and OHB Delegation in front of Phenix Thermal Vacuum Facility

Galileo Delegation visits ETS

15 August 2013

In the frame of a Galileo FOC progress meeting a delegation of OHB and ESA visited ETS last week on August 6th. 'The delegation was lead by Mr. Didier Faivre (ESA Director of Navigation) and Mr. Marco Fuchs (CEO of OHB System AG).

ETS managing director Dr. Jörg Selle welcomed the group of visitors and presented the activities of ETS. After the presentation the group had the opportunity to have a guided tour through the ESA Test Centre and to see the testing progress of the Galileo FOC FM1 satellite.

"This document has been produced under funding of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA."

SmallGEO STM on the 640kN QUAD Facility

SmallGEO STM successfully finishes Vibration Test

16 October 2012

This week SmallGEO has successfully finished vibration testing on the 640kN QUAD facility by performing a sine burst at 5.8 g! Next planned large test is the thermal vacuum test inside the Large Space Simulator (LSS).

The small European geostationary platform (SmallGEO) for communication applications is being developed by OHB System's lead management under the ESA Artes 11 Programme. On the STM RUAG Space is responsible for the complete Spacecraft Structure Subsystem as well as for Thermal Control and Testing.

The first flight model will be flown by Hispasat, in a Public Private Partnership with ESA, as HAG 1 for advanced telecommunication services.

ETS on Facebook

ETS now also on Social media

09 August 2012

ETS now also on Social media

Picture: Vibration Test of the BepiColombo MCS STM on the QUAD Shaker

BepiColombo STM Test Campaign

27 July 2012

The BepiColombo STM Test Campaign is now in the phase of mechanical testing of the Mercury Composite Spacecraft, MCS (consisting of four spacecraft modules). BepiColombo is the ESA mission to Mercury, the test campaign is conducted by Thales Alenia Space Italy under Astrium GmbH prime.

Currently the MCS is undergoing lateral vibration testing on the 320kN multishaker sliptable, longitudinal vibration testing on the 640kN QUAD shaker has been finished.

After vibration testing the MCS will undergo acoustic noise testing in the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF) and shock separation testing.

HAG1 Europe Reflector on 640kN QUAD Shaker

HAG1 Eur. Reflector Vibration Test

20 March 2012

The Hispasat AG1 Europe Reflector is currently under vibration testing at ETS/ESTEC.

The reflector is made by Astrium CASA for the first Small GEO mission called Hispasat Advanced Generation 1.

The Small GEO platform is a European geostationary satellite platform, which shall compete in the commercial telecom market for small platforms. The Small GEO STM Satellite model is being tested later this year at ETS/ESTEC.

Astrium MGSE in front of VTC 1.5 (sun beam window in back)

High Solar Flux Simulation in VTC 1.5

13 February 2012

Astrium GmbH Ottobrunn has successfully verified its MGSE for BepiColombo solar cell life testing at 10 solar constants. The solar cell life tests are planned in near future and are performed in the VTC 1.5 facility which has a sun simulator that reaches up to 25kW/m2.
In addition to the successful MGSE verification it has also been the first operational test of VTC 1.5 after its refurbishment and empty qualification tests.

Dispenser on 640kN QUAD Shaker

Galileo Dispenser Vibration Test

01 December 2010

Currently RUAG Space is performing the Galileo Dispenser vibration test at ETS/ESTEC.

The dispenser will make it possible that two Galileo Satellites can be launched in parallel. During testing an IOV SM (bare metal) and IOV STM (with blankets) satellite model are attached to the dispenser.

MetOp B PLM TV Test

21 July 2010

After 20 days in vacuum the MetOp B PLM thermal vacuum test has successfully finished.

MetOp is a series of three satellites to be launched sequentially over 14 years, MetOp B will be the second satellite to be launched in 2012.

The PLM for METOP-B will be shipped back to Astrium GmbH (Friedrichshafen) where it will be stored prior the launch campaign in 2012.

AMS-02 EMC Test

04 March 2010

In February 2010 AMS-02 has arrived at ETS/ESTEC to perform EMC testing and thermal vacuum testing before going to the launch site at Cape Canaveral.
AMS-02 is an international experiment managed by CERN to search in space for dark matter, missing matter & antimatter on the international space station.

The EMC test in the Maxwell EMC facility has finished and the AMS-02 team is now preparing for the thermal vacuum test inside the LSS.

Lödige Singapore in the test centre

01 December 2009

Company Lödige Singapore successfully finished railway endurance testing on their chain conveyor and right angle deck. The Lödige equipment will be used for check-in and bagage handling on the Delhi Metro Airport Express Line.
A right angle deck and chain conveyor (both with clamped and loaded container on top) have endured 3-axis vibration testing according IEC 61373 on the multishaker and QUAD shaker.

Herschel Telescope

05 February 2008

Last week the Herschel Telescope has arrived in the test centre. Currently the telescope is being inspected after which it will be integrated to the Herschel spacecraft.

The telescope has the largest ever built mirror for a spacecraft, which is 3.5m in diameter tall and made out of the ceramic Silicon Carbide.

When the integration of the Herschel spacecraft is completed, the spacecraft will undergo its environmental test campaign in the ESTEC Test Centre.

Galileo Giove B Test Campaign

17 October 2007

The Galileo Giove B mechanical tests (a.o. acoustic noise test, see photo) have been successfully accomplished. The AIT team from Thales Alenia Space Roma is now preparing for the EMC and PIM test in the Maxwell Facility.

GIOVE B, or Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element, is the second satellite built for ESA to test technology in orbit for the Galileo positioning system.

SMOS PLM PFM Test Campaign

27 March 2007

The SMOS PLM PFM test campaign has started two weeks ago. The mass property measurements as well as the acoustic noise test have already been successfully finished.

The tests still to be performed on the PLM are an EMC test and a thermal vacuum test.
The SMOS PLM PFM prime contractor is EADS CASA Espacio.

VEGA finishes test campaign at ETS/ESTEC

07 November 2006

All acoustic tests on the 4th stage (AVUM) and payload composite of the VEGA Launcher have been finished.

The acoustic tests on the VEGA AVUM and payload composite are the last tests of the VEGA STM test campaign at ETS/ESTEC. This test campaign that also included vibration tests has been very successful.

Prime contractor of the VEGA project is ELV, an AVIO Group and ASI Company.

ATV Thermal Vacuum Test Preparation

03 October 2006

Currently the ATV Jules Verne is preparing for a thermal vacuum test in the Large Space Simulator (LSS). The Spacecraft has been installed last week in the LSS (see photo) and the Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) will be installed this week onto the spacecraft.
Mounted together the spacecraft and ICC measure a height of 10 metres and a width of 4.5 metres.

The ATV Jules Verne is an ESA project with Astrium Space Transportation as prime contractor.

VEGA Launcher Test Campaign
Part 2

29 August 2006

The VEGA Launcher Test Campaign at ETS/ESTEC has continued with the Vibration Test of the AVUM (4th stage) together with the payload composite (satellite dummy, payload adapter and separation system) on the Multi Shaker Facility.

The next test is the acoustic noise test of the AVUM together with the launcher's fairing in the LEAF.

The picture shows the AVUM and payload composite on the Multi Shaker Facility.

Picture: Vibration Test VEGA AVUM Stage on Multishaker

VEGA Launcher Test Campaign

01 August 2006

The VEGA Launcher Test Campaign at ETS/ESTEC has started with a resonance search on the launcher's 4th stage (AVUM) mechanical model using the 320kN Multi Shaker Facility.

At a later stage, the AVUM will be vibration tested together with the payload composite (satellite dummy, payload adapter and separation system). The VEGA test campaign will be concluded with acoustic tests on the AVUM and fairing in the LEAF.

The picture on the right shows the AVUM on the Multi Shaker Facility.

Picture: Airbus Latch Test On Hydra

Airbus Cargo System Test

20 July 2006

Last week Airbus has successfully finished its cargo system tests on the HYDRA vibration facility.

Goal of the tests was to verify the occuring loads in the latch between cargo rails and cargo payload at different acceleration transients.

On the photo you can see a representative cargo system setup mounted on the HYDRA vibration facility.

Picture: ATV acoustic noise test LEAF

ATV Acoustic Noise Test

29 June 2006

The ATV Jules Verne acoustic noise test in the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF) has successfully been performed.

The next planned test for the ATV Jules Verne is the thermal vacuum/balance test in the LSS.

On the photo you can see the ATV in the LEAF being prepared for the acoustic noise test.

Picture: Quad multishaker vibration facility

QUAD Multi-Shaker Building Work

06 June 2006

Today the building work of the new 640kN QUAD Multi-Shaker has started. The floor where the new shaker will be placed is being cut out this week (see photo).

The new QUAD Shaker will be placed next to the existing 320kN Shaker. The QUAD Shaker will be used for vertical testing and the existing Shaker will be used for lateral testing.

The QUAD shaker will be ready for customers end of 2007.

Picture: Picture of M80 Mass Properties Facility

Mass Properties Measurement Facility

10 April 2006

The new M80 mass property facility has been installed in our environmental test centre (photo).

A sophisticated canting mechanism enables mass property measurements on three axes without using the so called "L-Adapter".

Planned is to take the facility in operation after some qualification tests that occur this month.