Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Tender nr.: AO 1-7432
Open from: 04 Apr 2013
Closes on: 30 May 2013
The objective is to demonstrate the suitability to a spacecraft electrical architecture of low insertion force high-density connectors (~250 points) mixing low level signals, power and RF coax connections.
Targeted Improvements: The expected improvement is to reduce dramatically the number of connectors in the Service Module to Communication Module interface of a GEO spacecraft and to reduce the number of interception connectors used in AIT. The target is to reduce by 10 days the AIT sequence and to divide by 10 the number of connectors concerned by the two mentioned applications. The mass improvement will be also studied.
The bidder shall have an expertise in GEO spacecraft electrical architecture, including EMC/ESD aspects, and harness design.
Background: Most of the connectors currently used are of SUB-D type, SMA or xWx type. Segregation rules leads to have hundred of connectors on board. The design is also limited by the number of connection points available on each connector type or family. The coupling of the SM and the CM requires a lot of electrical connections with variable access constraints. The AIT sequence requires a lot of setup and de-setup which are time consuming when 50 connectors are involved.
Justification: Reducing the number of connectors will be then beneficial in term of procurement cost and AIT sequence.
Work logic: The first step shall be to look for potential connector candidates (e.g. ARINC type, EADS TITAN(TM), Virginia Panel Icon(TM)...) in order to establish the type of possible connections to be mixed in a single connector.
Then, the segregation and isolation rules will be revisited in order to check how the new connector characteristics cope with them. The electrical architecture of the spacecraft will also be revisited in order to assess if the rules can be relaxed for different types of signal. After a selection of one type, a breadboard (connectors and cables) will be proposed in order to verify the electrical compatibility between the different signals (including among the associated bundles). A preliminary accommodation shall be proposed in a typical bidder's application. After successful evaluation of the solution, a roadmap shall be proposed to modify and qualify the product for a use in space.