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19th European Space Mechanisms and Tribology Symposium
Online - Organised by ESA.
20th - 24th September, 2021


Call for Papers

Authors’ timetable:

    • Deadline for Abstracts: 23rd February, 2021 – midnight CET time
    • Authors’ Notification: 2nd June, 2021
    • Deadline for Authors’ Registration: 7th July, 2021
    • Deadline for Paper Delivery: 7th July, 2021

The abstract submission shall include:

  • Full title of the paper
  • Topic covered by the paper as per the category list provided below
  • Names of all authors, affiliations and addresses
  • Contact details: Telephone, and e-mail address of the submitter of the abstract
  • A clear and precise outline of the novelty of the paper and major points of interest – max 500 words including drawings or photos
  • An indication of presentation preference (oral or poster)
  • An indication as to whether a paper on the subject has previously been published
  • Confirmation that the intended content can be presented and published in Europe

Abstract Submission:

Abstracts should be submitted online by 23rd February, 2021 – midnight CET time via the following link: https://atpi.eventsair.com/esmats2021/abstractsubmission

Preliminary Programme

The areas listed below are expected to be the major themes for the Symposium. Papers presenting hardware and covering these areas, coming from European and non-European entities, are specifically encouraged. However, papers covering other Space Mechanism related topics will be assessed on merit. All abstracts submitted will be given due consideration.

Category 1: Mechanisms Design, Analysis, Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration and Testing

  • Lessons learned from qualification and/or flight experiences
  • Descriptions of novel and challenging/promising designs
  • New methods for design, analysis, simulations and testing of mechanisms
  • Design guidelines and recommendations
  • Design/manufacturing/verification for high-volume production
  • Design for disturbance attenuation, low shock, low noise performance
  • Design for mechanisms demisability (destruction on re-entry)

Category 2: Components/Equipment

  • Motors, actuators, sensors, transmission devices, bearings
  • Hold-down/release, deployment, pointing, scanning, high-precision mechanisms
  • Wheels, mechanical coolers, pumps, valves, solar array drive mechanisms, etc.
  • Miniaturisation of space mechanisms
  • Pyrotechnics

Category 3: Tribology and Materials

  • Lubricants and lubrication for bearings, gears, joints,
  • Application of smart materials in mechanisms
  • Extreme temperatures, environments, operating conditions and long term storage
  • New tribo-materials and/or surface modification, Electrical sliding contacts,

Category 4: Launch Vehicles

  • Separation systems, engine/propulsion regulation, gimballing devices, turbopumps

Category 5: Science Observatories, Earth Remote Sensing, and Planetary Exploration Mechanisms

  • Mechanisms for science and remote sensing instruments
  • Mechanisms for exploration; manipulation, robots, rovers
  • Sampling systems and in-situ analysis devices

Category 6: In-orbit servicing, ISS and Re-entry Vehicle Mechanisms

  • Long-term mechanism operation and maintenance in space
  • Mechanisms for International Space Station (ISS), In-Space Servicing and Assembly
  • Mechanisms for re-entry vehicles

Selection Criteria

Abstracts selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to space mechanisms and tribology
  • Topic based on lessons learnt
  • Topic based on hardware test results
  • Originality/novelty of the innovation presented
  • Quality and clarity of abstract

Authors will be notified of the Organisation Committee’s decision to select their abstract by 2nd June, 2021. Authors whose abstracts have been accepted can download author’s guidelines for the preparation of a paper and presentation from this website.

Deadline for Abstracts

Abstracts should be submitted online by 23rd February, 2021 – midnight CET time. Any related questions should be sent by email to esaconferencebureau@atpi.com. Please ensure that any internal company approvals for publication are followed prior to abstract submission to assist with the efficient running of the symposium and avoid having to chase up late substitute or replacement papers.

Author’s Notification

Authors will be notified of the Organisation Committee’s decision by 2nd June, 2021. Authors whose papers have been accepted will receive guidelines for the preparation of a paper for inclusion in the symposium proceedings, which will only be available digitally via the past papers website.

Best Presentation Award

As in 2019, the ESMATS committee will give a «Best presentation award» to the best presention during ESMATS 2021. The trophy (see picture) will be “virtually” attributed at the end of the event, but will be sent to the presenter after ESMATS.

The “Best presentation Award” will be attributed based on both paper content and presentation quality, the criteria being :

  • Relevance to space mechanisms and tribology
  • Topic based on lessons learnt
  • Topic based on hardware test results
  • Originality/novelty of the innovation presented
  • Quality and clarity of presentation
  • Quality and clarity of the presenter

ESMATS Best Presentation Award Winners

Year Paper Title Authors Link
2021 Evolution of the ExoMars Sample Crushing Unit from Breadboard to Flight Model Daniel Redlich, Robert Paul, Tim Tattusch, Christiane Bergemann, Samuel Senese, Fabio Musso, Stephen Durrant Download paper
2019 ICI LLD - A Rocky Road to a Successful Development Geert Smet, Alessandro Bursi, Luis Ordoñez Peña, Christian Hehr, Matteo Giacomazzo Download paper

About the On-line Tool

The online tool “LetsGetDigital” that will be used to host the conference is promising that you should experience an event remotely as though you are there in person. It will therefore include check-ins, break times, face2face meetings and also a Virtual Lobby offering the possibility to network with face2face meetings that can bring partners and Exhibitors in contact with participants.

Concerning the Symposium content itself, as a speaker, you will get a digital stage and participants will be able to interactively engage in sessions.

More info about this on-line tool can be found on https://letsgetdigital.io

Registration & Fees

Registration for ESMATS 2021 is now open, persons planning to attend ESMATS 2021 can do so via the following link: ESMATS 2021 – Registration

The Symposium programme and information concerning the registration procedure will be issued in June 2021 .

Authors, exhibitors and participants are requested to register for the symposium on-line as early as possible to assist with the co-ordination of the symposium. Authors are required to register before 2nd June, 2021.


The registration fee covers participation in the Symposium and online download of proceedings.

Early registration fee before midnight (CET) on 31st July, 2021: €250 + VAT* (21%)

Registration fee from 31st July, 2021 onwards: €350 + VAT* (21%)

Cancellation Policy

A registration can be cancelled at a minimum administration fee of 50% per participant until 1st September, 2021. Cancellations after this date are not eligible for refund. Substitution of participants is permitted.


This year’s ESMATS will include a Virtual Exhibition Area to allow suppliers to display their products and discuss with delegates – more details can be found on letsgetdigital.io. An online area will be available for hardware exhibition and company related information. For more information please contact: esaconferencebureau@atpi.com. The price for a virtual booth for the duration of the ESMATS Symposium is €250 (without VAT), with no early bird special rate.

Presenters Guidelines

Please note that recording devices are not permitted during the sessions.

Language and Presentation Time

  • The working language of the symposium will be English. For each paper presented orally, 15 minutes are allocated followed by 5 minutes for discussion.
  • An online area will be available for poster exhibition and dedicated time-slot for discussion will be defined through the on-line tool.
  • Oral or poster presentations may be accompanied by the demonstration of novel mechanisms and products.

Technical Recommendations for Oral Presentations

  • Presenters will be allocate an indicated time (please check the preliminary programme) per presentation – including time for questions – and are asked to adhere to their allocated presentation time including allocated time for questions and discussions
  • Presenters are to ensure that any embedded videos function correctly prior to the start of their session
  • Presenters shall arrive in the on-line meeting room at least TBD minutes prior to the start of their session
  • The presentations should contain clear information with appropriate font size that is legible when viewed on-line
  • There are no plans to provide downloadable versions of your presentation to the participants

Technical Recommendations for Poster Presentations

As ESMATS 2021 is a purely on-line event there will not be a facility to display posters.  From the Symposium Agenda it can be seen that Sessions 1 and  2 on Day 1 of the symposium  are devoted to posters – 5 minutes is allocated to each poster author to present a quick snapshot of their poster paper. Authors are requested to stick rigidly to their allocated time slot and therefore no more than a couple of slides should be prepared in advance to introduce their paper. No time is allocated for Questions and Answers during these poster presentation sessions; delegates will have to track down paper authors during the end-of-day networking sessions and coffee breaks if they wish to discuss the paper in more detail.

Template for Full Paper Delivery

  • Presenters are requested to use the templates provided (both MS Word and PDF formats are provided) for formatting their paper.

Full formatting instructions are provided in the template. The templates can be downloaded from the ESMATS 2021 Important Dates panel.

Final due date for delivery of the paper is Wednesday 7th July, 2021 in order to be included in the proceedings and final presentation programme. Late submissions will not be accepted except by prior agreement.

(*) VAT in The Netherlands is charged at 21%, credit card and other forms of payments fees may apply during the booking process.