Manufacturing of mission critical parts of Cube Satellites

09 Feb 2016

Cooperation between Von Karman Institute & Melotte for the manufacturing of mission critical parts of Cube Satellites.

The QARMAN satellite is developed in the framework of the European FP7 QB50 CubeSat project which is coordinated by the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (Brussels). The project goals are threefold: (i) exploring the possibilities of rendezvous in space, (ii) showcasing a passive de-orbiting system, (iii) collecting scientific data, including data on temperature and pressure during its re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere. The CubeSat is a miniaturized satellite for space research with small dimensions (10x10x30cm).

For the FP7 QB50 CubeSat project Melotte was selected to manufacture the complete chassis. This chassis was designed by Von Karman Institute, analyzed by Voxdale (Antwerp) and precision manufactured by Melotte. The difficulties of the project are the very complex thin walled geometries in titanium (Ti6Al4V) in combination with the limitations of the manufacturing method that lead to some optimizations in function of the manufacturability. Based on years of experience in surface and heat treatments Melotte also assisted in improving functionalities such as reducing friction and improving electrical insulation. The production of these parts has been carried out with the highest precision on the newest production centers with cutting tools specially designated for such applications. Melotte is looking forward to the launch and wishes the best for the VKI-team.

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