Space

Sonaca’s core business consists of design, development, manufacturing, assembly, testing and qualification of space flight structures, thermal systems and MGSE. It is actively involved in space applications since three decades, covering mainly satellite platforms, payloads and launchers.

Structures

Design, development, manufacturing, assembly and testing aerospace structures and their associated systems.

  • Satellite platform

    State-of-the-art and advanced structural solutions for satellites platforms, from nano and micro satellites to large satellites (6+ meters), from design to delivery.

    Characteristics:

    • Sandwich panels structures
    • Metallic and composite
    • Full metallic lightweight structures  (Isogrid) for small satellites and constellations
  • Launchers and space vehicles

    Large experience in design, development and manufacture of structures for launchers, re-entry vehicles, crew vehicles or space station.

    Characteristics:

    • Complex metallic machined structures
    • Composite structures
    • 3D Orthogonal weaving for space launchers (Composite - RTM)
    • Large sizes
  • Instruments structures

    Experience in design, development and manufacture of structures for large instruments, including: optical benches, bipods, cylinder baffles or secondary and tertiary components.

    Characteristics:

    • CFRP Sandwich panels complex shape for optical benches
    • Cylinder CRFP structures
    • Metallic structures for cylinder baffles (thin milling and chemical milling)
  • Static tests

    Custom test services to meet specific customer challenges, conducted to international standards.

    Characteristics:

    • Certified and experienced experts team members
    • International Standards and ECSS compliant tests
    • Large scale fully adaptable set-ups
    • Materials, structural and thermal tests complete portfolio

Thermal Systems

Design, development, manufacturing, assembly and testing of thermal systems and their associated systems and components, with a 15-years strong thermal analysis background.

  • Thermal control systems

    Design, development and delivery of complete thermal control systems, applications for landers, instruments and satellites.

    Characteristics:

    • Thermal architecture (from phase A to E) and analysis (ESATAN, Thermica, Thermal desktop)
    • Hardware internal manufacturing or selection and procurement
    • Conceptual design and development of special solution (switching heat pipes, thermoelectric cooling…)
    • Assembly and integration (ISO 8), testing and qualification

     

  • Thermal hardware

    Single-stop provider for all  thermal hardware needs for a space system, can be either produced in-house or procured by a series of globally-distributed vendors.

    Products:

    • Radiators (metallic and composite) with embedded and surface mounted heat pipes (conventional, switching)
    • SLI and MLI
    • Thermal straps
    • OSR
    • Heaters
    • Thermometers, thermostats, heat capacitors
    • Advanced thermal technologies
  • Thermal tests and qualification

    Thermal testing and qualification according to ECSS and NASA standards, in vacuum and ambient pressure, up to  cryogenic conditions.

    Characteristics:

    • MTVAC, Medium Thermal Vacuum Chamber for high vacuum tests (p  up to 10-8 mbar), eventually with controlled air or CO2/N2 atmosphere, 50x50x50cm³, configurable
    • Thermally controlled shroud with Liquid nitrogen/heater system (-190°C, 200°C)
    • Thermally controlled cold plate (-70°C/+150°C), with LN2 cooling optional (-190°C, 200°C)
    • Cryogenic thermal chamber (-135°C, 135°C) with purging capabilities, for life cycle tests
    • Support to testing in external facilities, including test plans, procedures, predictions, correlation
    • Test management activities, with on and off-site support of experienced test engineers

GSE & AIT

Ground support equipment & test services for satellites, instruments,  launchers and their components.

  • Transport containers

    Transport and storage container for flight hardware and sensitive equipment , available in a variety of sizes and configurations (e.g. for satellites, systems, instruments, with active controls or fully passive).

    Characteristics:

    • Robust and lightweight body with modular elements construction (easy and economic to adapt to various dimensions)
    • Shock/vibration absorption system, GN2 purging, equalization and relief system
    • Integrated closed circuit environmental control system and environmental monitoring  (e.g. pressure, temperature, humidity, acceleration)
    • Active Thermal Control (optional)
    • Full ECSS- or industrial-level documentation
  • Handling MGSE

    Lifting, handling and assembly Ground Support Equipment, for sizes ranging to small satellites and Equipment to fully loaded satellites.

    Characteristics:

    • Lifting devices for complete satellites, for weights up to 7000 kg, with full ECSS verification
    • Handling devices for small satellites, with an excellent price/quality ratio
    • Tooling for production of launcher parts and for assembly of complete satellites
  • GSE instruments

    Design, development and realization of testing and calibration of ground support equipment for scientific instruments.

    Characteristics:

    • Thermally controlled enclosures
    • Calibration  targets
    • Ad-hoc dedicated software
    • Monitoring and control systems
    • Including Vacuum, pneumatic, cryogenic and/or fluidic systems
    • Compatible with clean room operations
    • With tailorable documentation level, from scientific development level up to full ECSS-level (e.g. for Qualification and Ground Reference activities)

Instruments & Mechanisms

Industrial prime for the realization of bespoke scientific instruments and mechanisms for exploration and observation missions. The Sonaca group can provide support in project management, engineering, realization and qualification of instrumentation and mechanisms.

  • Scientific instruments

    Industrial support to scientific institutions for the development, industrialization, production and qualification of scientific instruments in different domains: in situ planetary exploration (Mars, Moon, asteroids…), Earth observation or Solar system exploration.

    Characteristics:

    • Project management support
    • Technical coordination
    • Systems engineering
    • AIT (Assembly Integration and Testing)
    • Mechanical and thermal engineering
    • Product and Quality Assurance
    • Configuration management on the instrument and its subsystems
  • ISS instruments

    Development of experiments for use on the International Space Station. Engineering, project Management and MAIT support up to launch and operations, with a vast network of suppliers and partners.

    Characteristics:

    • Development of full functional 3D printer breadboard capable to print with PEEK polymer
    • Printer fulfills the majority of ISS safety requirement
    • Printer is designed for parabolic flight experiment
    • Printer is capable of printing with inverted g vector (upside down) simulating zero g environment
    • Functional parts printed are showing good functional performance and mechanical properties

Customers

Sonaca is since decades a supplier of several Space Agencies and research centers around the World.

We are proudly partners and suppliers of every European Large System Integrator, payloads and systems developers.


References

  • CIDS
  • CTV X-38
  • Atmospheric Re-entry Demo
  • SPOT-5
  • Beagle-2
  • ALADIN
  • OCRS
  • CoRoT
  • PRE-X PHASE B
  • ISS COLUMBUS
  • ISS Fluid Cell Experiment
  • IXV PHASE B2/C1
  • BLAST FAST RE-ENTRY VEHICLE FEASIBILITY STUDY
  • EXPERT RE-ENTRY VEHICLE COLD STRUCTURE
  • Pléiades
  • ARV
  • MASCOT
  • MASCOT-MARA
  • MASCOT - CAM
  • PEASSS
  • AEOLUS
  • MUSIS CSO
  • BepiColombo
  • HP3 - INSIGHT
  • MetOp-SG - MWI
  • MetOp-SG - ICI
  • ESM European Service Module

Case Studies

Locations & Contacts

Belgium
+32 125 56 97
sales@sonaca-space.com

Germany
+49 30 63 92 60 71 
sales@sonaca-space.com

Romania
+32 125 56 97
sales@sonaca-space.com

USA

Hurst
+1 858 810 5423
DGideon@lmiaerospace.com