News

MetOp-SG STM Satellite Successful Test Campaign Completion

24 September 2019

The MetOp-SG programme is a cooperative undertaking between ESA (the European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites).

The MetOp-SG Structural and Thermal Model (STM) satellite underwent its final environmental test in ESA's Large Space Simulator. Several orbit scenarios, including sun simulation, have been tested few days ago. The Thermal test data are currently under analysis by Airbus Defence and Space, the customer of European Test Services.

The teams of Airbus Defence and Space, ETS and ESA started the test campaign preparation in 2018. Mechanical qualification tests and Thermal Vacuum tests were performed in the ESA test facilities, operated by ETS, between June and September, this year. Airbus Defence and Space is now focusing on the start of the MetOp-SG Satellite A PFM to be launched at the end of 2022.

Note: The view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

Infrared Sounder STM successfully tested

19 August 2019

Meteosat Third Generation´s (MTG) Infrared Sounder (IRS) is one of the two GEO-stationary satellite on-board instruments. The IRS instrument will support Numerical Weather Prediction at regional and global scales, through the provision of Atmospheric Motion Vectors (AMV) with high vertical resolution.

The purpose of the STM thermal balance and vacuum test was to validate the thermal control system of the instrument and the cryocooler (active cryostat at around 55K and common to the Imager S/C and the Sounder S/C). During the test the IRS turned in and out an artificial 6m sunbeam including eclipses to simulate the solar entrance into the instrument cavity (baffle).

For testing purposes, the IRS STM was mounted to a satellite sidewall simulator and connected to an electric power harness to simulate the power dissipation of on board equipment. The external harness was routed to a special supporting structure that accommodated multiple rotations between 3-357 degrees, allowing spinning of the instrument, eclipse and illumination by a 6m sunbeam of 1340W/m2.

ETS operated ESA´s Large Space Simulator in vacuum and thermal condition close to the space environment, with OHB System AG in charge to conduct the test for various functional states of the instrument: e.g. survival, operational and transition modes, steady state and sensitivity of the cryostat.

The test was successfully completed with all the results fulfilling the objectives and ahead of the planned schedule thanks to the collaboration of all the team involved, ESA, OHB, TAS-F and ETS.

MTG is a satellite series of four imaging and two sounding satellites for weather predictions. Thales Alenia Space France as MTG prime contractor and OHB System AG, as MTG-S Mission Prime and provider of the MTG Satellite-Platforms, develop the satellites under responsibility of ESA and on behalf of The European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). EUMETSAT will operate the satellites carrying in total four instruments for weather forecast and climate prediction.

MetOp-SG STM heading towards final tests

23 July 2019

The MetOp-SG Structural and Thermal Model (STM) is now heading for its acoustic test after successfully passing the dry and wet vibration tests including sine burst testing up to 6.5 g on the 640kN QUAD shaker.

In the coming weeks ETS� customer Airbus Defence & Space will be analysing the huge data sets acquired during the vibration test and upcoming acoustic noise test and shock test. The final destination after the mechanical tests is ESA's Large Space Simulator.

The MetOp-SG programme is a cooperative undertaking between ESA (the European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites). The ESA test facilities are operated by ETS.

Note: The view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

Container offloaded by crane

MetOp-SG STM arrival at ETS/ESTEC

06 June 2019

The MetOp Second Generation (MetOp-SG) structural and thermal model has arrived at ETS/ESTEC for its environmental test campaign. As contractor for the Management, Maintenance, Marketing and Sales of the ESTEC Test Facilities, ETS will perform vibration, acoustic noise and space simulation tests.

ETS direct customer is Airbus Defence & Space SAS. The MetOp-SG programme is a cooperative undertaking between ESA (the European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites). Their objective for MetOp-SG is to provide operational observations and measurements from polar orbit for numerical weather prediction and climate monitoring in the early 2020s to mid-2040's timeframe. In addition, MetOp-SG will provide services to atmospheric chemistry, operational oceanography and hydrology.

Note: The view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

Vibration Test JUICE MAGBOOM EQM on the 320kN Multishaker

JUICE MAGBOOM EQM Vibration test

26 March 2019

The JUICE EQM Magboom has been rigorously tested up to levels of 17 g on the QUAD and Multishaker and was successfully deployed after the vibration test.

The JUICE Magboom will be part of ESAs Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer satellite. The boom will deploy magnetic experiments and sensors when the satellite is around Jupiter. As very low magnetic field changes are to be measured the boom will have a deployed length of 10.6m in order to minimize the magnetic disturbances from the satellite.

The Magboom is designed and developed by SENER and tested by European Test Services (ETS) B.V., operator of the ESA test centre.

ESA and ETS representatives after contract signature (image credit ESA-K. Hristova)

ETS ensures its future beyond 2020

14 December 2018

ETS is proud to announce that the contract regarding the Management, Maintenance, Operations, Marketing & Sales of the ESTEC Test Centre Facilities for the period from 2019 to 2023 has been signed today. ESA’s Director of Technology, Engineering & Quality, Mr Franco Ongaro, signed the contract with the ETS’ Managing Director, Dr Jörg Selle, in the presence of Mr Torben Henriksen, Mr Gaetan Piret and Mr Benjamin Jeusset. ETS would like to thank ESA for placing their trust and confidence in its abilities to operate the ESA test centre. The ETS team is looking forward to continuing the great cooperation.

Vibration Test VEGA AVUM+ on the 640kN QUAD Shaker (image credit: ESA-G. Porter)

VEGA C AVUM+ Test campaign

23 November 2018

The VEGA C 4th stage (or Attitude Vernier Upper Module, AVUM+) vibration test campaign has successfully finished. ETS’ customer AVIO, VEGA prime contractor, has performed rigorous vibration testing of the AVUM+ on the QUAD and Multishaker. During more than 30 vibration test runs ETS acquired 450 data channels of acceleration and forces.

VEGA C is the latest evolution of the VEGA launch system with its main objective to increase performance and reduce operating cost. ESA is overseeing procurement and the architecture of the overall launch system, while industry is building the VEGA launcher.

MTG FCI STM inside the Large Space Simulator (image credit: ESA-G. Porter)

Flexible Combined Imager STM successfully tested

16 July 2018

Meteosat Third Generation’s (MTG) Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) is one of the two GEO-stationary satellite on-board instruments and successor of the current Meteosat’s Seviri instrument. The FCI provides solar and thermal spectral measurements in 16 channels for weather forecast.

The purpose of the STM thermal balance and vacuum test on the FCI was to validate the thermal control system of the instrument and the cryocooler (active cryostat at around 55K and common to the Imager S/C and the Sounder S/C). During the test the FCI turned in and out an artificial 6m sunbeam including eclipses to simulate the solar entrance into the instrument cavity (baffle).

For testing purposes, the FCI STM was mounted to a satellite sidewall simulator and connected to an electric power harness to simulate the power dissipation of on board equipment. The external harness was routed to a special supporting structure that accommodated multiple rotations between 0-360 degrees, allowing spinning of the instrument, eclipse and illumination by a 6m sunbeam of 1340W/m2.

ETS operated the Large Space Simulator in vacuum and thermal condition close to the space environment, with Thales Alenia Space France and OHB System AG in charge to conduct the test for various functional states of the instrument: e.g. survival, operational and transition modes, steady state and sensitivity of the cryostat.

MTG is a satellite series of four imaging and two sounding satellites for weather predictions. Thales Alenia Space France as MTG prime contractor and OHB System AG develop the satellites under responsibility of ESA on behalf of The European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). EUMETSAT will operate the satellites carrying in total four instruments for weather forecast and climate prediction.

DELFT HYPERLOOP on track at VTC 1.5 vacuum facility

23 May 2018

Delft Hyperloop, the overall winner of the 1st Hyperloop pod competition is on track for the 2018 competition that takes place this year on July 22nd. The team from Delft just finished a week of rigorous testing in vacuum environment using ESA’s VTC 1.5 vacuum facility that has a similar diameter as SpaceX’s test tube. The tests and their preparation have been supported by ESA and ETS.

A Hyperloop is a form of transportation by trains or pods travelling under vacuum to lower resistance and increase speed. SpaceX’s Hyperloop competition was created to increase development and innovation.

JUICE Thermal Mock up inside the LSS (copyright ESA)

JUICE TDM successfully performed thermal balance test in the Large Space Simulator

14 May 2018

The purpose of the JUICE thermal balance test was to validate the passive thermal control design of JUICE spacecraft in an early phase. During this test the a full scale Thermal Development Model (TDM) mock-up of the spacecraft was first exposed to a solar flux at 1.8 solar constant to simulate the Venus fly by, followed by a cold case without sun simulation and an additional balance phase at an intermediate solar flux intensity. The Large Space Simulator has been operated by ETS and the test was conducted by Airbus Defence and Space.

JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) is a large class ESA mission planned for launch in 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in 2029 where the spacecraft will observe and study the moons Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

Photo: Credit ESA-M.Cowan

Departure for Mercury

04 May 2018

After their arrival in 2014 and numerous environmental tests until end of 2017, the last items of the BepiColombo project will leave European Test Services (ETS) B.V. on May 7th. The Mercury Planetary Orbiter, Transfer module, Magnetic Orbiter and Sunshield have already been shipped to Kourou in French Guiana. The launch is scheduled for October 2018.

Four Antonovs 124 and one ship are needed to transport the satellites and their related support equipment to the launch site in Kourou French Guiana. Transport preparation, packing and air freight security screening have been already supported by ETS since end of 2017.

BepiColombo is a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership. The stacked spacecraft will arrive late 2025 at Mercury where the two orbiters are separated from the transfer module and sun shield. The orbiters will study Mercury’s atmosphere, gravity field, magnetosphere, surface and interior structure.

ETS awarded with contract for the MetOp-SG STM test campaign

29 January 2018

European Test Services (ETS) B.V. has been awarded with the environmental test contract for the MetOp Second Generation (MetOp-SG) prototype satellite.

Airbus Defence & Space SAS has contracted ETS to perform environmental tests on the MetOp-SG structural and thermal prototype satellite. The MetOp-SG satellites will orbit the Earth in pairs: one satellite series is equipped with optical instruments and atmospheric sounders, while the other satellite series is equipped with microwave instruments. Both series are based on Airbus’ Astrobus high-power satellite platforms, the prototype satellite will be a combination of the two different satellites to optimize the development time.

The MetOp-SG programme is a cooperative undertaking between ESA (the European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites). Their objective for MetOp-SG is to provide operational observations and measurements from polar orbit for numerical weather prediction and climate monitoring in the early 2020’s to mid-2040's timeframe. In addition, MetOp-SG will provide services to atmospheric chemistry, operational oceanography and hydrology.

As contractor for the Management, Maintenance, Marketing and Sales of the ESTEC Test Facilities, ETS will perform vibration, acoustic noise and space simulation tests in the frame of the MetOp-SG environmental test campaign. The tests will commence at the end of this year. Major challenges are the vibration and space simulation tests. For the vibration test on the QUAD shaker, 8 g quasi static acceleration is to be achieved on a total mass of 5 tons. In the Large Space Simulator a new motion system will be used for the first time, this system is able to simulate satellite movement and rotation as in orbit.

“The view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.”