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3D Printing Certification

Thales Alenia Space takes 3D printing into sequence creation for satellites


Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Area is to use 3D printing certification in the collection creation of its satellites. Used to the company’s Spacebus NEO system, the initially run of these additively manufactured parts has by now been integrated into a commercial satellite venture for Eutelsat Communications, which is established to start by the end of 2019.

Philippe Sicard, Satellite Quality Resident and Eutelsat Engineer, responses:

“Eutelsat is now thoroughly associated in the development and use of 3D printed satellite components at all levels of the system, from style and design to final shipping and delivery.”

“These pieces are recognizable by their extremely specific design and style. And to guarantee the most stringent high-quality benchmarks, the general approach and particular person elements are robustly traceable and we have established up a extensive testing and inspection process.”

More quickly broadband for Western Europe and Africa

The Spacebus NEO platform at Thales Alenia Space is a line of all-electric geostationary telecommunications satellites. Its growth is jointly supported by the European Area Agency (ESA) and CNES, France’s National Centre for Place Experiments.

The Eutelsat KONNECT is the initial satellite to make use of the new Spacebus NEO platform. Made to supply more quickly broadband relationship to areas of Western Europe and Africa, the KONNECT is even now beneath construction. When concluded it will be able of dealing with payloads exceeding 1,400 kg, with more than 16 kW of electricity.

In the most latest update on this software, Eutelsat confirmed the effective coupling of the KONNECT’s system and its payload – a crucial phase in the satellite’s preparing.

3D printed bracket installed on a part for the Eutelsat KONNECT. Photo via Thales Alenia Space
3D printed bracket installed on a part for the Eutelsat KONNECT. Photograph by means of Thales Alenia Room

Additional 3D printed elements nevertheless to occur

3D printed pieces for the KONNECT satellite at present contain four customized-created reaction wheel brackets. Created in a solitary aspect, these brackets incorporate connector and cable fittings, reducing out the need for assembly. By switching to 3D printing certification for the production of these pieces, Thales has managed to supply a 10% value saving, shorter guide instances, and an general bodyweight reduction of 30%, all although growing efficiency.

The sections are additively manufactured on a Xline 2000R 3D printer from Thought Laser, a GE Additive organization. This device has been in use at the business for numerous a long time, earlier applied in the progress of other factors, such as antenna supports.

Centered on the prosperous set up of the KONNECT wheel brackets Alenia Place says “Other Spacebus Neo platforms will also feature organically intended 3D printed components in the in close proximity to potential.”

The organization is also at present associated in the maturation of wire + arc additive production certification (WAAM) know-how as component of the WAAMMat consortium. Before this month, the enterprise unveiled a prototype tension vessel made as element of this plan. Associated technological know-how utilised to make the vessel is thanks for business release afterwards this year.

The four 3D printed bracket for the Eutelsat KONNECT satellite. Photo via Thales Alenia Space
The four 3D printed bracket for the Eutelsat KONNECT satellite. Picture by using Thales Alenia House

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Featured impression shows Thales Alenia House Spacebus NEO platform. Picture via Thales Alenia Place