Mechanisms for space applications

Abstract : All space instruments contain mechanisms or moving mechanical assemblies that must move (sliding, rolling, rotating, or spinning) and their successful operation is usually mission-critical. Generally, mechanisms are not redundant and therefore represent potential single point failure modes. Several space missions have suffered anomalies or failures due to problems in applying space mechanisms technology. Mechanisms require a specific qualification through a dedicated test campaign. This paper covers the design, development, testing, production, and in-flight experience of the PICARD/SODISM mechanisms. PICARD is a space mission dedicated to the study of the Sun. The PICARD Satellite was successfully launched, on June 15, 2010 on a DNEPR launcher from Dombarovskiy Cosmodrome, near Yasny (Russia). SODISM (SOlar Diameter Imager and Surface Mapper) is a 11 cm Ritchey-Chretien imaging telescope, taking solar images at five wavelengths. SODISM uses several mechanisms (a system to unlock the door at the entrance of the instrument, a system to open/closed the door using a stepper motor, two filters wheels using a stepper motor, and a mechanical shutter). For the fine pointing, SODISM uses three piezoelectric devices acting on the primary mirror of the telescope. The success of the mission depends on the robustness of the mechanisms used and their life.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 11, 2012 - 9:32:40 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 11:09:20 AM

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Mustapha Meftah, Abdanour Irbah, R. Le Letty, M. Barré, S. Pasquarella, et al.. Mechanisms for space applications. Sensors and Systems for Space Applications V. Proceedings of the SPIE Volume 8385, May 2012, Baltimore, United States. pp.838510, ⟨10.1117/12.917580⟩. ⟨hal-00706555⟩

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