JSC Academician M.F. ReshetnevInformation Satellite Systems

Industrial center

In 2005 following an order issued by the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Industrial Center of Large-Sized Foldable Mechanical Structures was set up at the premises of ISS-Reshetnev Company. It was done to further develop industry specialization and focus R&D efforts and financial resources on one of the highest priority directions in the field of space technology.

According to the Industrial Center’s development program, its area of focus covers a wide range of issues – from solving fundamental problems to the manufacture of some specific space technology products.

The Industrial Center develops and conducts ground experimental testing of:

  • satellite structures;
  • large-sized foldable and unfoldable onboard antenna reflectors;
  • mechanical devices for solar arrays and separation systems;
  • electromechanical devices;
  • pneumoautomatic and hydroautomatic devices;
  • ground equipment complexes for satellites and satellite systems;
  • new materials and coatings.

These products have long been produced by ISS-Reshetnev, but today research and development projects carried out by the company’s Industrial Center help considerably increase their technical characteristics and quality.

State-of-the-art ground experimental facilities of the Industrial Center enable it to perform the entire cycle of ground qualification testing on satellites and their structures and parts: thermal and vacuum, mechanical tests, including deployment tests on large-sized mechanical systems using zero-gravity simulation test benches.

Onboard antennas and antenna feeder device elements

High-precision antennas with composite structures play one of the key roles in today’s satellites. At the Industrial Center, ISS-Reshetnev engineers design and develop a wide range of onboard antennas and antenna feeder device elements, among which are the following:

  • large-sized foldable reflectors;
  • composite contour beam reflectors (three-layer, mono-shell);
  • antenna assemblies of the Bashnya type;
  • feed systems;
  • metric and inch waveguide sections.

The Industrial Center has already had its developments in the field of antenna and feed units design flight qualified onboard most recent ISS-Reshetnev’s satellites:

Satellites of the Loutch-5 series:

  • six foldable antennas with 4-meter reflectors made of gold-plated mesh;
  • waveguides for the repeater system;
  • high-precision composite reflectors for foldable antennas;

The Yamal-300K satellite:

  • a contour beam antenna.

The Industrial Center has the most advanced measuring, testing and production equipment which enables it to manufacture onboard antenna reflectors and elements of antenna feeder devices that are on a par with the best foreign makes.

  • The Industrial Center has already had its developments in the field of antenna and feed units design flight qualified onboard most recent ISS-Reshetnev’s satellites
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  • Satellites of the Loutch-5 series:

    six foldable antennas with 4-meter reflectors made of gold-plated mesh;
    waveguides for the repeater system;
    high-precision composite reflectors for foldable antennas.
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  • The Yamal-300K satellite:

    a contour beam antenna.
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Satellite structures

To date, ISS-Reshetnev Company has amassed solid expertise producing honeycomb structures for satellites. Since 2000 this technology has been flight qualified aboard all ISS-Reshetnev’s satellites.

Typical qualified solutions that the company is able to offer in this sphere involve a range of typical honeycomb cores and face sheets, embedded parts, installation of heat pipes and liquid loops on the inner or the outer side of the panel, assembling of a wide range of elements, for instance, optical solar reflectors, flat electric heaters, fasteners of the VELCRO type, etc.

Main technical specifications of honeycomb panels developed by ISS-Reshetnev:

Honeycomb panel face sheet В95 Aluminum alloy Carbon fiber
Face sheet thickness 0.3…0.8 mm 0,32; 0,48; 0,64; 0,8; 0,96 mm
Honeycomb panel thickness 8…150 mm 10…60 mm
Honeycomb panel size, max 5800 x 3000 mm
Honeycomb core Material: aluminum foil 20, 23, 40 microns thick; perforated
Cells: hexagon; cell size: 2.5; 3.5; 6 mm

At ISS-Reshetnev Company the most advanced and powerful software solutions like CATIA v5, NASTRAN and THERMICA are used to design satellite structures and perform mechanical and thermal design and analysis.

The Reshetnev Company runs the complete production cycle of honeycomb panels with the annual capacity of 500 m2.

Honeycomb panels (as part of satellite structures and separately) undergo the whole cycle of qualification and acceptance tests. These include mechanical tests (static, dynamic, acoustic), degassing and thermal cycling, as well as controlling geometric parameters of honeycomb panels with the help of automatic inspection and measuring machines.

A structure of satellites based on Express-1000 and Express-2000 platforms is made using the modular approach “payload – platform”. In addition to honeycomb panels, it also includes a load bearing structure – a central tube and a conical adapter made from high-modulus carbon fiber.

Solar arrays

Working hand in hand with Russian producers of solar cells, the Industrial Center of Large-Sized Foldable Mechanical Structures delivers foldable solar arrays on a turn-key basis, which are capable of generating up to 25 kW of power.

ISS-Reshetnev designs and makes mechanical devices used in solar arrays which enable to:

  • fix in start position two to seven solar array panels in one solar array wing and drive them into operating position;
  • - lay out and assemble solar cells with total area of 20 to 100 m2.

The solar array frames have a creatively different “semi-rigid” structure: their frames consist of high-modulus composite carbon fiber tubes and string substrate made of dimensionally stable composite cords. This solution helps obtain good mass characteristics (up to 1.5 kg/m2), considerably increase the efficiency of solar cells (through lowering their temperature) and also improve their resistance to electrostatic breakdown.

Unified design solutions for solar array frames, booms, hinge joints and locking pins enable easy adaptation of base designs to specific characteristics of satellites’ mechanical interfaces.

At the Industrial Center, there are four specialized deployment test benches that enable the company to perform simultaneous deployment testing of four solar array wings, each measuring up to 50m2.

Designed and manufactured by ISS-Reshetnev Company, solar array mechanical devices have considerable flight heritage accumulated onboard the company’s satellites and a number of spacecraft built by other Russian aerospace companies.

Electromechanics

ISS-Reshetnev’s Industrial Center has a department dedicated to the design and experimental testing of various electromechanical devices that are part of all foldable systems of ISS-Reshetnev-made satellites.

Among these electromechanical devices there are:

  • deployment mechanisms of foldable mechanical systems (reflectors, solar arrays, large-sized booms and masts, radiators, etc.);
  • solar array drive mechanisms (which also transfer the power from solar panels to the satellite);
  • antenna positioning and pointing mechanisms.

Dedicated precise mechanics production facilities available at the company help manufacture high-precision mechanisms, while there are also all the necessary experimental facilities needed to carry out the whole spectrum of test procedures, including functional, mechanical, thermal vacuum and life-cycle tests.

Pneumoautomatics and thermal control subsystem devices

The Industrial Center designs and manufactures a wide range of devices that are part of satellites’ subsystems. These devices undergo the whole cycle of verification tests on the ground and also get flight tested while operating aboard ISS-Reshetnev’s satellites in space.

Attitude and orbit control subsystem devices:

  • xenon feed device;
  • metallic composite xenon tank;
  • gas feed unit;
  • thruster unit;
  • reducing electric valve.

Thermal control subsystem devices:

  • thermoregulator;
  • hydraulic coupler;
  • volume compensator;
  • heat pipes;
  • electric pump unit;
  • flat heaters;
  • regulation valve;
  • multilayer insulation.

All these solutions are valued on their high specific characteristics (technical parameters with respect to the mass). The Industrial Center is capable of delivering customized devices that would meet specific customer needs. Modern production and test facilities available at the Industrial Center enable it to assure high quality of devices made here, and, additionally, carry out all the necessary test procedures.

Materials

It is ISS-Reshetnev’s Industrial Center that develops and carries out qualification tests on new materials, reviews their application in satellite structures. The Industrial Center has a dedicated department specializing in materials science.

The Center is aimed at:

  • the development of composite materials, coatings applied to satellites’ external surfaces, advanced polymer, textile and metallic materials;
  • measurement of physical and mechanical, thermophysical, electrical, optical properties of materials and coatings, determination of their structure and element composition;
  • measurement of materials’ outgassing parameters (mass loss and volatile condensable materials loss) according to the GOST R 50109-92 standard and the international ECSS-Q-70-02A standard;
  • testing the influence of storage and satellite operation factors (corrosion resistance, resistance to thermal cycling in vacuum, ionizing radiation and space environment factors) following which a statement of acceptability of the use of this material in satellites is issued, taking into account mission duration and operating conditions.

Ground facilities

ISS-Reshetnev has a full range of specialized ground equipment enabling the company to carry out all necessary operations in the process of developing and building satellites, various structures as well as complex foldable systems and mechanisms. The equipment is designed and manufactured in-house, here, at ISS-Reshetnev facilities.

The Industrial Center designs and manufactures the following types of equipment:

  • equipment for dynamic and static testing of satellite qualification models;
  • zero-gravity simulation equipment for testing satellite foldable structures;
  • transportation containers for satellites and their parts;
  • lifting equipment (spreader bars, etc);
  • fuelling equipment for filling satellites with propellants;
  • equipment of cosmodrome technical facilities.

Separation systems

The Industrial Center has amassed considerable expertise developing and making separation systems used aboard all types of ISS-Reshetnev’s satellites: on small satellites having a mass of less than 50 kilograms as well as on heavy ones whose mass exceeds 4 tonnes. All these devices have been successfully flown aboard the company’s satellites many times.

Unified design solutions such as locking pins, spring pushers and pyro devices help customize original designs of separation devices in accordance with weight-balance characteristics and mechanical interfaces of a certain satellite.

Depending on the satellite orbit emplacement scenario – single or group (cluster, tandem or “piggy back”) launch scheme, the adapter systems can vary greatly in design:

  • conical adapter made of high-modulus carbon fiber;
  • boron-aluminum tube truss structure;
  • cylindrical section: thin aluminum skin and structural rings;
  • adapter made of composite sandwich panels.

All separation devices designed and developed by the Industrial Center of Large-Sized Foldable Mechanical Systems go through the whole ground test cycle, including autonomous tests and tests within satellites’ engineering qualification model.

Test facilities

The Industrial Center of Large-Sized Foldable Structures has its own ground experimental facilities which enable it to perform the whole cycle of ground qualification tests of already assembled satellites as well as their components and parts.

Weightlessness simulation test benches help simulate and monitor the deployment of satellites’ large foldable mechanical systems, as well as control their geometry using advanced measurement instruments.

With the help of the state-of-the-art facilities and test equipment the Industrial Center performs the following types of mechanical testing:

  • vibration (sinusoidal and random vibration):
    • force from 1.5 up to 25 tonnes;
    • simultaneous registration of up to 256 channels;
    • mass of test item – up to 8 tonnes;
  • acoustic (in a reverberation acoustic chamber):
    • chamber volume – 664 m3,
    • sound pressure level – up to 154 dB;
    • automatic digital control system – 6 control microphones;
    • simultaneous registration of up to 128 channels;
  • transportation vibration (sinusoidal and random vibration, multiple shakes in three directions):
    • all types of transportation loads (that satellites are exposed to when shipped by aircraft, trains and trucks);
    • mass of test item – up to 8 tonnes, maximum allowable length – 8 meters;
    • registration of up to 128 vibration measurement channels by the digital recording system;
  • shock:
    • single and multiple shocks;
    • use of pyrotechnic devices, mechanical and electrodynamic test benches and a free falling platform test bench where the acceleration levels can reach 5000 g;
  • static:
    • servohydraulic test bench;
    • automatic digital control system enabling to apply force along multiple axes simultaneously;
    • nominal force of hydraulic cylinders – from 0.5 to 16 tonnes;
    • load bearing wall 12 meters high;
  • measurement of mechanical systems’ modal characteristics:
    • frequency range from 0.01 to 5000 Hz;
    • contact and non-contact (laser) measuring systems.

Thermal and vacuum test facilities incorporate chambers having a volume of 600 m3, 400 m3, 120 m3, 60 m3. This equipment allows carrying out the following types of tests:

  • thermal balance, electrotermal and vacuum;
  • thermal cycling;
  • thermal vacuum tests with the use of a solar simulator;
  • firing testing of xenon propulsion engines.