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19th European Space Mechanisms and Tribology Symposium
Online - Organised by ESA.
21st - 24th September, 2021

Please note that that this information is provisional at the present time. Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic ESMATS and the associated training courses are moving to an on-line only symposium and details around organising the event are still being developed.
All quoted times are CEST (Central European Summer Time) or CET (Central European Time), as applicable.
All dates and times are currently TBC (To Be Confirmed) except for Launchspace’s  Fundamentals of Space Vehicle Mechanisms course and ESTL’s Space Tribology course (STC).

Training Courses’ Schedule

Space Tribology Course (STC) – (am only)

14th September, 2021 – 17th September, 2021.


For 2021, ESR Technology (ESTL  – European Space Tribology Laboratory) will present its highly respected Space Tribology Course over four days between 14th September, 2021 and 17th September, 2021 (am only – 9:00 am to 13:00pm (CEST) – each day), for the first time on-line.

The Space Tribology Course provides a comprehensive overview of the many issues relating to friction, lubrication and wear of spacecraft mechanisms and their components and draws from data generated from ESR Technology (ESTL) as Europe’s longest running independent centre of excellence for space tribology.

The course will cover the following subjects:

  • Fundamentals of Tribology – in which tribological concepts are introduced and the special considerations for space and vacuum tribology highlighted.
  • Tribo-component Design and Performance – in which an overview of the different types, characteristics and performances of tribo-components (ball bearings, gears, plain and ball/rollerscrews, etc.) used in spacecraft applications is provided. This includes a detailed presentation of considerations for design, selection and load capacity verification of ball bearings for space applications.
  • Materials for Tribo-Contacts – in which an overview of the main categories of materials and their use in spacecraft tribo-components and surfaces is presented.
  • Lubrication of Spacecraft Components – Topics include
    • Selection of Lubricant types
    • Solid Lubrication – Coatings
    • Solid Lubrication – Self Lubricating Materials
    • Fluid Lubricants – Selection and Performance
  • Handling and Testing Tribo-components – covering handling and preloading bearings and testing tribo-components and mechanisms
  • ESR Technology (ESTL) Case Histories and Lessons Learned – presenting a selection of the (sometimes painful!) lessons learned on various programmes. The course is presented by experienced staff from ESR Technology (ESTL) with over 50+ combined years of space tribological experience and will be valuable both for younger engineers entering the industry and for the more experienced who may wish to refresh or challenge their tribological understanding.

All attendees will receive access to a personal electronic copy of the presentation slides. In addition, delegates from entities registered in the ESA Member and Co-operating states (ONLY) plus up to 5 identified colleagues within the same company will be given electronic (web based) access to the latest issue of our ‘Space Tribology Handbook’, our ‘Guidelines for Space Mechanism Ball Bearing Design, Assembly and Preloading’, and can elect to register for access to many other ESTL technical reports.

Subject to completion of a qualifying declaration, delegates from entities registered in the USA (and up to 5 identified colleagues within the same company who shall also complete the declaration) may receive access to the latest issue of our “Space Tribology Handbook” (ONLY).

Registration and Fees:

The fee to attend this course is £435 (approx €500) plus UK VAT (currently 20%) for UK delgates only rising to £610 (approx €700 plus VAT as applicable) after midnight (CEST) 16th August, 2021.

Registration for ESTL’s Space Tribology Course (STC) is now open.

Note that the Space Tribology Course (STC) is not part of ESMATS 2021 nor ESA’s Advanced Mechanism Design Course (AMDC), and delegates wishing to attend STC must register for the course, accept the appropriate terms on data protection according to the course provider ESR Technology (ESTL) and pay the additional fee (plus VAT for UK delegates).

Further details about future course dates, location, duration and pricing are available on request. Tailored courses and discounts are available for group bookings.

For Further Information Contact:
ESTL – ESR Technology Ltd

ESTL is part of ESR Technology Ltd



Chris Greenhalgh
ESR Technology Ltd
202 Cavendish Place
Birchwood Park

Telephone: +44 (0)1925 843487

Advanced Mechanisms Design Course (AMDC) – (pm only)

13th September, 2021 – 17th September, 2021, (TBC).

Following on from the successful AMDC at previous ESMATS in 2017 and 2019, ESA Mechanisms Section is proud to announce their updated training course on ‘Advanced Mechanisms Design’ between 14th September, 2021 and 17th September, 2021, (pm only), on-line (Dates TBC). Note that this course is currently planned to be held at the same time as Launchspaces’ “Fundamentals of Space Vehicle Mechanisms” course due to the complementary nature of these courses, so delegates cannot elect to attend this course and Launchspaces’ course.

The ‘Advanced Mechanisms Design’ training course provided by ESA and ESTEC experts from the mechanisms section will focus on the design of Space mechanisms while covering the following topics:

  • Motors for space applications
  • Ball bearing technology for space application
  • Space gears
  • Sensors for space mechanisms
  • Tolerances and assembly
  • Hold-down and release mechanisms, including contact analysis
  • Motorisation margins, including spring driven actuators specifics
  • Accelerated Life testing
  • Reliability/statistics on mechanisms
  • Microvibration
  • Pyroshock assessment
  • Advances dynamics simulations
  • Long term storage
  • Vibration analysis and tests
  • Hardware post test inspection pass / fail criteria Model philosophy and test
  • Space mechanisms system engineering
  • New emerging requirements / design drivers for space mechanisms and
  • Some Case studies and lessons learnt

Besides providing detailed knowledge and possible solutions, this course also intends to give some practical information in order to make space mechanisms designers aware of the typical pitfalls when designing space mechanisms.

It is indeed believed that teaching space mechanisms engineers how to anticipate problems (or have a proper understanding of the problems) shall also help them to make the best possible design choices in order to later avoid encountering unexpected problems and having to solve them in a reactive manner, that would have a tremendous effect in the cost and schedule of the development.

This course is targeted at Space Mechanisms Engineers which already have some experience in space mechanisms design.

Please note that due to the nature of the information that will be provided, this course can only be provided to delegates from entities registered in the ESA Member and Co-operating states (ONLY).  Applications from delegates from outside registered ESA member states and Co-operated states may be considered on a exceptional basis. Should they be permitted to attend they cannot take pictures nor have access to the electronic copy of the Hand-outs.

Registration and Fees:

Delegates will be able to register for this course via this website in due course. The course tuition fee will be €TBD  plus VAT (currently 21%).

Note that the Advanced Mechanisms Design Course (AMDC) is not part of ESMATS 2021 and delegates wishing to attend AMDC must register for the course and pay the additional fees prior to attendance.

Fundamentals of Space Vehicle Mechanisms (pm only)

13th September, 2021 – 16th September, 2021 – 14:00 to 18:00 (CEST).

launchspacelogo2 Launchspace presents a special online course prior to the 2021 ESMATS Conference in September 2021.

Fundamentals of Space Vehicle Mechanisms is a special edition of the internationally popular course on this topic. The instructor, Bill Purdy, explores the technologies required for successful space mechanisms design and offers a detailed look at many of the key components common to most mechanisms. The materials necessary to achieve high performance are discussed. Examples of the many types of mechanisms are included for illustration. In addition, mechanisms’ relationships and interfaces with other vehicle systems are explored. The course includes design and analysis examples to demonstrate principles involved in understanding how mechanisms should work and how design margins should be evaluated during the evolution of a programme.

If you want to pick the right type of motor,  lubrication or angular measurement device for your application then this is the right course. You will learn the fundamentals of space mechanisms from a leading mechanisms expert.  A unique benefit is the instructor’s sharing of his experience and lessons learned.

This course is at the right level for someone:

  • With less than 15 years of experience with space mechanisms
  • Who is responsible for the design of aerospace mechanisms
  • Tasked with analysis activities in thermal or structural elements of mechanisms
  • With responsibility for developing drive electronics for mechanisms or
  • Tasked with systems work related to implementing mechanisms

Course topics include:

  • Mechanisms used in space vehicle
  • Pointing subsystems, motors and feedback devices
  • Bearings, gears and lubrication fundamentals
  • Release and deployment systems
  • Power transfer and slip rings
  • Mechanisms analysis
  • Critical materials for mechanisms
  • Spacecraft – mechanism interfaces and sources of mechanism requirements

Bill Purdy

The instructor for the course is Bill Purdy. Bill has over 30 years of hands-on experience in the space engineering field with wide-ranging involvement in both spacecraft mechanisms and systems engineering disciplines. He has been one of the leaders of the space mechanism industry’s transition from explosive release mechanisms to non-explosive devices. Mr. Purdy has been involved in 35 successfully flown spacecraft and has worked on over 50 flown mechanisms including gimbals, release mechanisms, deployables and many other types of mechanisms. He is the Associate Editor of the industry-standard handbook Space Vehicle Mechanisms – Elements of Successful Design and the author of the chapter on non-explosive release mechanisms. He has published many Aerospace Mechanisms Symposia Papers and was the 1999 winner of the Herzl Award.  Mr. Purdy holds a BSME from the University of Maryland.

Registration and Fees:

This course will be held on-line during the week prior to ESMATS. Note that it is currently planned that this course will be held at the same time as ESA’s AMDC course above so delegates cannot attend this course and ESA’s AMDC course.

This course is not part of the ESMATS 2021 Symposium and a separate fee is payable for delegates attending this course in addition to ESMATS 2021.

Launchspace Mechanisms Design Course Tuition
US$695 including complete course materials and Certificates of Completion.
Registration link:

Details about other Launchspace courses can be found on the Launchspace website

For Further Information Contact:


Launchspace Address:

8029 Rising Ridge Road
Bethesda, MD USA 20817
Phone: +

Compliant Mechanisms Design Course (CMDC) (am only)

21st September, 2021 – 24th September, 2021 (TBC).

Compliant Mechanisms Course

Compliant Mechanisms (CM) are proposed to achieve macroscopic linear and rotary motion without friction, wear, backlash, and with extremely high fatigue performance thanks to the elastic deformation of flexible structures. They are used in harsh environments such as vacuum, cryogenic and space where friction is to be avoided while high-precision and a high lifetime are required.

While the potential of CM in space has already been proven over many years, their development can still be challenging. This course will address the complete development aspects for compliant mechanisms, comprising of design and analysis, manufacturing, assembly and testing. The recent advances on CM brought by additive manufacturing will also be presented.

This course is intended for engineers involved in the design, manufacturing and testing, for managers and anyone else interested in having a practical knowledge of the advantages and challenges of compliant mechanisms.

The course will cover the following subjects:

  • Introduction to compliant mechanisms
  • Presentation of space applications using compliant mechanisms
  • Design principles
  • Finite Element Modeling guidelines
  • Material and lifetime aspects
  • Manufacturing guidelines, including recent additive manufacturing advances
  • Failure modes and preventions
  • Integration and testing guidelines
  • Sensor and actuator selection and integration
  • Control aspects

This course will be held on-line during the same week as ESMATS. Note that it is being held in the mornings of the days that ESMATS is being held in the afternoon (TBC), so delegates can elect to attend this course and ESMATS 2021.

This course is not part of the ESMATS 2021 Symposium and a separate fee is payable for delegates attending this course in addition to ESMATS 2021.


Attendees will receive a personal electronic copy of the presentation slides.

Registration and Fees:

The fee to attend this course is €500.

For further information:Lionel Kiener CSEM SA