Clamp band for satellites developed by Polish engineers
Clamp band for attaching satellites, for example to a carrier rocket, is being developed by Polish engineers. A 3 mm thick steel "tape" must be capable of holding a satellite weighing up to 10 tons and withstand extreme operating conditions.
SENER Polska has been commissioned to develop the clamp band by the European Space Agency (ESA).
"Our clamp band can be compared to a large clamping band. It is the only element that connects the satellite to the carrier device or rocket. If the clamp band fails, satellite worth hundreds of millions of euros will crash into Earth" - informs SENER Polska in a release sent to PAP.
The device designed by SENER Polska will have a mass of about 60 kg, a diameter of 1.7 meters, and the main element - steel tape - is only 3 mm thick. Clamp band must be capable of holding a satellite weighing up to 10 tons. In addition, it will be used in extreme vacuum conditions and temperatures from minus 40 to plus 70 degrees Celsius.
The aim of the contract awarded by ESA to SENER Polska is the development of clamp band production and testing technology. After its completion in 2018, the Polish company will join a small group of European manufacturers of this type of equipment, which should increase competition in the market and reduce production costs.
According to the release, the final result of SENER Poland\'s contract will be both a clamp band and a test station that will remain in the country and be used to test the functionality of devices. The first phase of the project has just been completed - the ESA has accepted initial technological solutions and proposed tests of the clamp band produced in Poland.
The contract is implemented under the "Polish Industry Incentive Scheme". During the first 5 years of ESA membership, Polish entities receive funding for the development of technology and competence to adapt their capabilities to participating in European Agency projects. With new skills, companies from Poland can more effectively compete for further contracts and cooperate in their implementation with local subcontractors.
"Getting an Incentive Scheme contract allows us to pull companies from other sectors into the space industry, ones that did not even think they could be part of it. The clamp band project will be fully realized in our country, from the design by SENER Polska engineers to production and testing by our partners" - emphasised Kamil Grassmann, project manager at SENER Polska, quoted in the release.
Chief engineer in the clamp band project is Pawel Kozłowski - one of the eight winners of the first edition of the Industrial Development Agency\'s internship programme "Development of Space Sector Human Resources" program. He started his internship at SENER Polska almost a year ago. (PAP)
Science in Poland
author: Ewelina Krajczyńska
ekr/ agt/ kap/