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European Space Mechanisms and Tribology Symposium
University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
20th-22nd September 2017



The European Space Agency (ESA)


ESA member states

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Formed in 1973, when a Ministerial Conference in the Hague approved a highly ambitious space programme to carry the European space effort into the new millenium.

Since the last ESMATS, ESA’s Rosetta probe having successfully entered orbit around 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and landing Philea on 67P has continued to return data about the comet;  Lisa Pathfinder was successfully injected into the L1 position in January 2016 and the first step of the ExoMars programme got underway with the successfull launch of the Trace Gas Orbiter and the lander  Schiaparelli towards Mars for arrival in October 2016.

ESA has 20 Member States; Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia have cooperation agreements with ESA. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbitor

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbitor

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

ESA’s purpose shall be to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems:

  • by elaborating and implementing a long-term European space policy, by recommending space objectives to the Member States, and by concerting the policies of the Member States with respect to other national and international organisations and institutions;
  • by elaborating and implementing activities and programmes in the space field;
  • by coordinating the European space programme and national programmes, and by integrating the latter progressively and as completely as possible into the European space programme, in particular as regards the development of applications satellites;
  • by elaborating and implementing the industrial policy appropriate to its programme and by recommending a coherent industrial policy to the Member States.

Contact details:

Website: www.esa.int


UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provide a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.
At the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space, the UK Space Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. The UK Space Agency leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefit to all citizens.

The Space Agency works to:

  • co-ordinate UK civil space activity
  • encourage academic research
  • support the UK space industry
  • raise the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
  • increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits
  • inspire our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
  • licence the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
  • promote co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

The Space Agency is responsible for:

  • leading the UK civil space policy and increasing the UK contribution to European initiatives
  • building a strong national space capability, including scientific and industrial centres of excellence
  • co-ordinating strategic investment across industry and academia
  • working to inspire and train a growing, skilled UK workforce of space technologists and scientists
  • working on national and international space projects in co-operation with industry and academia
  • regulating the UK civil space activities and ensuring we meet international treaty obligations

Contact details:

Website: UK Space Agency


Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)

SSTL beginnings


SSTL supplied the platforms for the 5-satellite RapidEye constellation which launched in 2008

In the mid 1970s space was considered to be such a different environment to Earth that anything sent into the atmosphere needed to be specially designed and tested for the harsh conditions of space. Naturally, this made building satellites incredibly expensive and time intensive.
In the late 1970s, a group of highly skilled aerospace researchers working at the University of Surrey, including a young Martin Sweeting, decided to experiment by creating a satellite using commercial off the shelf (COTS) components and the results were surprising.

That first satellite, UoSat1, was launched in 1981 with the help of NASA and the mission was a great success, outliving its planned 3 year life by more than 5
years. Most importantly, the team showed that relatively small and inexpensive satellites could be built rapidly to perform successful and sophisticated missions.

In 1985 the University of Surrey formed Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd as a spinout company to transfer the results of its research into a commercial enterprise. The growth of the company has accelerated, and our innovative approach to the design, build, test and operation of spacecraft has propelled SSTL to the forefront of the small satellite industry.

SSTL today

  • SSTL employs 500 staff across 2 sites in South East England
  • SSTL has launched 48 satellites to date
  • In 2008 the Company set up a US subsidiary, Surrey Satellite Technology LLC with offices in Denver, Colorado
  • In 2009 the EADS group company Astrium BV bought a 99% shareholding in SSTL from the University of Surrey, allowing the Company to fulfil its growth potential.
  • In 2014 the EADS restructured and SSTL is now an independent company within the Airbus Defence and Space Group.

SSTL What we do

  • Provide complete inhouse design, manufacture, launch and operation of small satellites
  • Deliver complete mission solutions for earth observation, remote sensing, science, navigation and telecommunications
  • Deliver space training and development programmes
  • Design and build remote sensing, navigation and communications payloads
  • Supply avionics suites and subsystems
  • Build and install ground infrastructure
  • Provide consultancy services

Contact details:

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
Tycho House
20 Stephenson Road
Surrey Research Park
Guildford GU2 7YE
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1483 80380

Fax: +44 (0)1483 803804

Email: [email protected] for general enquiries

Website: www.sstl.co.uk


ESTL - European Space Tribology Laboratory

estlESR Technology, with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA), operates the European Space Tribology Laboratory (ESTL), Europe’s focus for expertise in space tribology.

Keeping Space moving through quality solutions to friction and wear.

ESTL specialises in providing solutions to friction, wear and lubrication issues relating to the precision mechanisms that operate in the vacuum environment of space, or in terrestrial vacuum applications. Over the past 35 years, ESTL has been involved in virtually every major European Space programme, with no known failures in orbit.

ESTL delivers solutions by offering a flexible combination of specialist products and services:

  • Tribology – we have many years of tribological data from which we have developed processes and design tools. We also provide consultancy and training
  • Testing – we have years of experience performing thermal vacuum and tribometer tests and regularly undertake life, qualification and acceptance testing for our customers. ESTL is an ESA-approved test house
  • Lubrication – we provide a range of high quality and space qualified solid and liquid lubrication products
  • Mechanisms – we offer a design support capability as well as a high quality mechanism component and subassembly build service. We also supply niche mechanical components to other mechanism suppliers
  • Transfer – we transfer these specialist technologies developed for space into terrestrial vacuum markets such as the medical and semiconductor industries

Contact details:
ESR Technology Ltd.
202 Cavendish Place
Birchwood Park

Tel: +44 (0)1925 843499
Fax: +44 (0)1925 843497
Email: [email protected]

ESTL is part of ESR Technology Ltd


CNES - Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales


Founded in 1961, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is the government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France’s space policy in Europe.

Its task is to invent the space systems of the future, bring space technologies to maturity and guarantee France’s independent access to space.

CNES is a pivotal player in Europe’s space programme, and a major source of initiatives and proposals that aim to maintain France and Europe’s competitive edge.

It conceives and executes space programmes with its partners in the scientific community and industry, and is closely involved in many international cooperation programmes—the key to any far-reaching space policy.

The agency’s more-than 2,400-strong workforce constitutes an exceptional pool of talent, with some 1,800 engineers and executives, 35% of whom are women.

Through its ability to innovate and its forward-looking vision, CNES is helping to foster new technologies that will benefit society as a whole, focusing on:

  • access to space
  • civil applications of space
  • sustainable development
  • science and technology research
  • security and defence

Contact details:

Website: www.cnes.fr – CNES


RUAG Space

Dispenser for Galileo satellites

Dispenser for Galileo satellites

As the largest independent supplier of space technology in Europe, RUAG Space develops, manufactures and tests subsystems and equipment for satellites and launch vehicles. From our locations in Switzerland, Sweden and Austria RUAG’s space division offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and services for institutional and commercial space missions. Heritage and flexibility as well as outstanding reliability have made RUAG Space a long lasting partner of choice for satellite and launcher primes worldwide.

RUAG Space Switzerland
RUAG Space is the leading space company in Switzerland. Companies and sites that are now part of RUAG have shaped Swiss space activities from the very start, for example, as part of the Ariane programme. Since the inception of the programme, RUAG Space has been responsible for the development and manufacture of payload fairings, which protect satellites on the nose of the launch vehicle from the forces to which they are exposed on their journey into space. In the 1960s, long before the first Ariane lifted off from Kourou, work on the first European satellite, ESRO-1, and the high-altitude research missile Zenit, marked Switzerland’s initiation into space flight.

RUAG Space GmbH, being the largest space company in Austria, had started its activities in the space market in 1983 and has since then been focusing on supplying space products and related ground support equipment in the areas of electronics, mechanics and thermal hardware. In the field of electronics RUAG Space Austria makes good use of its long experience in signal processing. Flight-electronics has been successfully supplied to a large number of European and US satellite programs. In the field of mechanical engineering, RUAG Space Austria?s product spectrum extends from Mechanical Ground Support Equipment to Mechanisms for satellites and launchers. Additionally, proven capabilities in Thermal Systems have resulted in a leading position on the space and non-space market.

A substantial number of successful contributions to European, US and Asian space missions have established the company’s reputation as an acclaimed international partner. Today’s product portfolio is based on the following areas of expertise: •On-board Electronics, particularly Digital Signal Processing

  • On-board Mechanisms, particularly Pointing and Deployment Mechanisms
  • Thermal Hardware, particularly Multilayer Insulation
  • Mechanical Ground Support Equipment, particularly Containers and Trolleys

The participation of Switzerland in the European Space Agency (ESA) is the foundation on which an effective and reliable space industry was able to develop. Today RUAG Space has more than 570 employees at its Zurich, Nyon and Emmen locations, developing and producing a wide range of products for the space industry. RUAG Space AB in Sweden specializes in highly reliable on-board satellite equipment including computer systems, antennas and microwave electronics and adapters and separation systems for space launchers. The company has a total of 383 employees. (December 2012) The headquarters and location for design and manufacture of digital electronics, microwave electronics and antennas is in Göteborg, Sweden (320 employees December 2012). Design and manufacture of launcher adapters, satellite separation systems, satellite structures and sounding rocket guidance systems is performed in Linköping, Sweden (63 employees December 2012).

Contact details:

RUAG Space
RUAG Schweiz AG
Schaffhauserstrasse 580
8052 Zürich
Phone +41 44 306 22 11
Fax +41 44 306 29 10

RUAG Space GmbH (Wien)
RUAG Space
Stachegasse 16
1120 Wien
Phone +43 1 80199 0
Fax +43 1 80199 6950

Solhusgatan 11
SE-412 76 Göteborg
Phone +46 31 735 0000
Fax +46 31 735 4000

Website: www.ruag.com


KDA - Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace

Space Technology and Systems

Kongsberg Defence&Aerospace (KDA) space activities were established in 1990 and covers:

  • Space engineering: Design, manufacture, AIT and qualifies systems for space
  • Core technologies: Space mechanics, electronics and electro-optics
  • Major supplier in Norway for up-stream space market
  • Customers in Europe and the US

The space group within KDA consist of a core group of about 50 employees with support of the Defence Systems large group of engineer and facilities including cleanrooms, TV chambers, shock and vibration and EMC chambers. Main marked segments are within launcher technology:

  • Attachment and release mechanisms for Ariane 5 boosters
  • Nozzle deployment system for Vinci engine
  • Optical systems for pyro release

and satellite technology:

  • Mechanisms (SADMs and APMs)
  • Control/Drive electronics
  • Electro-Optical instrument systems




Adaptive Rotational Mechanism Assembly


Data Sheet






Data Sheet




Rosetta SADM


Data Sheet





Data Sheet



Adaptive Rotational Mechanism Assembly

pdficonData Sheet



Contact details:

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS
Kirkegårdsveien 45
P.O. Box 1003
NO-3601 Kongsberg

Tel: 47 32 28 82 00
Fax: 47 32 28 86 20
e-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.kongsberg.com


In Space, SENER has developed from its beginnings mechanisms and mechanical systems that cover almost all the needs of the Flight Segment. This is backed up with technical solvency, successfully proven on more than 60 satellites and spacecraft currently operating with SENER equipment on board. In fact, SENER has a major history of successful deliveries, with which it has achieved a reputation for quality and reliability in Space. In its 50 years, SENER has supplied over 275 equipment and systems for ESA, NASA, JAXA and Roskosmos’ missions without a single failure. The company has taken part in programmes such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Columbus, Envisat, Rosetta, Meteosat SG, Herschel and Planck, MetOp, Mars Science Laboratory, Gaia and Sentinel 1, 2 and 3, as well as commercial missions such as Hispasat, Spainsat or XTAR-EUR. Currently it is working in Bepi Colombo, Meteosat TG, Solar Orbiter, Euclid and Proba-3, among others. SENER was the first Spanish company to win a European Space Agency (then ESRO) tender, in 1967, to design and build the rocket targeting and launch tower in Kiruna (Sweden).

Products and areas of expertise

SENER takes part in most ESA space programmes as a recognised supplier of mechanisms, mechatronics and complex mechanical systems:

  • hold-down and release mechanisms
  • deployment mechanisms
  • crushable structures and landing systems
  • rotary or linear actuators
  • deployment and speed regulators
  • antenna pointing mechanisms
  • optical mechanisms (wheels, focusing, shutter, calibration, etc)
  • scanning and micro-positioning systems

Moreover, SENER supplies essential items for completing successful missions, such as:

  • optical systems
  • electronic control systems, including control software
  • Attitude and Orbital Control Systems (AOCS)
  • Guidance, and Navigation and Control systems (GNC)

SENER human team has a wide range of engineering expertise areas that cover all major topics involved in our equipments and systems: •Mechanical design

  • Structural design
  • Thermal design
  • Electronics design
  • Software
  • Optical design
  • Control Engineering
  • GNC/AOCS design
  • Integration and Verification
  • System Engineering
  • System Architecture

Contact details:

Avda. de Zugazarte 56
ENTRANCE Cervantes, 8
48930 Getxo (Bizkaia) – España
Tel. +34 944 817 500
Fax +34 944 817 501
Website: www.aerospace.sener


OHB System AG

The systems specialist OHB System AG is one of the leading independent forces in European space. We have been making a name for ourselves on the market with our creative and business approach for a good 35 years particularly in our core business comprising low-orbiting and geostationary satellites. We are developing and executing some of the key projects of our times such as the Galileo navigation satellites, the SARah reconnaissance system, the MTG meteorological satellites, the EnMAP environment satellite, the TET-1 technology testing vehicle and the HispaSat, ELECTRA and EDRS-C telecommunications satellites.

In manned space flight, we are working intensively on humanity’s most remote outpost, the International Space Station ISS. We were materially involved in assembling and equipping the Columbus research laboratory fitted to the ISS and the ATV space freighter as well as numerous experiment systems used on board the ISS.

Ideas and systems for studying our solar system form the core of our exploration activities. OHB System is working intensively on ESA’s two-part flagship mission ExoMars as well as on further studies for exploring and charting the moon, Mars, Jupiter and other celestial bodies.

Broadband wireless transmission of image data forms a core technology for security and reconnaissance. Our Process Control Systems segment is responsible for the successful transfer of space technology for use in industrial applications.

OHB System traditionally combines the technologies of leading national and international companies to develop new solutions. With these partnerships and the effective participation in syndicates, we have been a sought-after and reliable partner for the European Space Agency ESA, the German Aerospace Center DLR, the German Federal Ministry of Defense as well as for customers in the private and public sector for several decades.

Contact details:

OHB System AG
Universitätsallee 27-29
28359 Bremen

Phone: +49 (0) 421-2020-8
Fax: +49 (0) 421-2020-700
Email: [email protected]

OHB System AG
Manfred-Fuchs-Straße 1
82234 Weßling – Oberpfaffenhofen

Phone: +49 (0) 8153 4002-0
Fax: +49 (0) 8153 4002-940
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ohb-system.de