Saab Ericsson Space and Alcatel have jointly developed, manufactured and qualified new primary structure elements for the upgraded Alcatel Spacebus 3000 B3, 3000 and 4000 C1 to C4 satellite buses. These new elements are primarily the Mecabus Central Tube (MCT) and North and South Webs. Within the frames of this contract, ESA has contributed to the program by financing the manufacturing of the qualification model (QM), and performance of the static qualification test. The qualification static load tests of the Spacebus 4000 were performed with a flight representative Mecabus Primary Structure, at the Saab Ericsson Space test facility in Linköping, Sweden. |
The tests were performed as both global and local load cases. Loads were applied simultaneously on the test specimen interfaces through representative interface tools, as shown in figure below.
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| ||The static qualification of the Mecabus primary structure was successfully completed and a mass carrying capability increase of 25 % was obtained, compared to previous designs.|
The Primary Structure for the Spacebus series of satellites is called Mecabus and is composed of the following structure elements.
The major part of the MCT is a cylindrical CFRP structure, with Connection Hardware. The diameter is 1.2 m and the length is close to 4.0 m. The CFRP shell is a co-cured sandwich, with internal and external M18/M55J carbon skins, with thickness varying between 0.3 mm and 4 mm, and with various core densities and thicknesses. Local skin reinforcements are also implemented, either co-cured with the blank shell or cold-bonded on the skins.
- The Mecabus Central Tube (MCT), developed for B3 and C spacecrafts
- Four Mecabus North and South Webs, devoted to C satellites
The connection hardware consists of inserts, frames and corners. More than 650 inserts are implemented for accommodation of equipment such as tanks, decks, corners and tubes.
A more robust and less expensive carbon fibre has been selected for new generation of Web panels. The carbon face sheets and the honeycomb core have been designed without any reinforcements. The lay-up has been chosen isotropic to simplify analysis and characterization.
Some large cut-outs has been introduced, for harness, wave-guides and numerous equipment. Some material changes has also been implemented for some inserts.
The picture to the right shows the Central Tube with two Webs.
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Program is completed
Development and qualification of new Primary Structure elements for the upgraded Alcatel Spacebus 3000 B3, 3000 and 4000 C1 to C4 telecom satellites, primarily:
- The Mecabus Central Tube (MCT), developed for B3 and C spacecrafts,
- Mecabus North and South webs, specifically devoted to C satellites.
For Central Tube
- Increasing payload and spacecraft mass
- Increasing plasma propulsion tank mass
- Updating of spacecraft architecture to fit with improved solar generators, upper module accommodations and new payload layout on radiator panels For Webs
- Mass capability increase for type C spacecraft
- Improved robustness with regard to manufacturing
- Reduction of manufacturing cost
- Reduction of mass
The program is successfully completed.
Last Update: 10 Aug 2007