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ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-11496
Open Date: 27/09/2022 17:31 CEST
Closing Date: 09/11/2022 13:00 CEST

During Thermal Vacuum tests, Spacecraft undergo thermal loads generating gradients on their structures and as consequence inducing deformations (Thermo-Elastic Deformations - TED). The latter are relevant specially when dealing with optical payloads whose pointing accuracy needs to be guaranteed and therefore verified during all the phases of operations. A common technique used to measure deformations in a contactless way is the so-called photogrammetry. Photogrammetry, typically by means of retro-reflective targets, can extract/generate a point cloud with the 3D coordinates of the measured targets. When evaluating TED, an important role is played also by the temperature of the object under test. Only the knowledge of the temperature, together with the relative deformation, allows the correlation of the thermal model of the test article with its real behaviour. For this reason, tools for temperature measurement are also deployed during thermal vacuum tests. Beside conventional single point contact measurement tools such as thermocouples and thermistors, in the last 10 - 15 years, the use of IR cameras has become common practice as it allows the acquisition of "dense" temperature maps of the object under test.Dimensional data and thermal data are typically decoupled as acquired by separate systems and processed in completely independent means. Still, big effort is spent in comparing and cross-coupling them, to perform, when required, a proper TED analysis.Photogrammetry and Thermography are measurement techniques in use in the Test Centre for many years. The integration of data generated by Photogrammetry (or in general by other 3D dimensional measurement tools producing point clouds and available in the ESA ESTEC Test Centre e.g. Laser tracker, laser radar, Coordinate Measurement Machine) and Thermography in a tool able to perform/facilitate TED analysis, represents, thus, the next step into in the field of technology for thermal vacuum testing. It is also coherent with the framework for the development of top notch measurements systems, necessary to prepare the Test Centre of the European Space Agency to the challenges the future will bring to testing,The objective this activity is thus the development of a TED analysis tool: the latter aims to generate enriched 3D point clouds, where information on the spatial coordinates and of the associated temperature are stored. In addition, the TED analysis tool is meant to allow basic geometrical manipulation of the enriched 3D point clouds, such as form/shape fitting (e.g. plane fitting) or computation of delta vectors between multiple enriched3D point clouds.

Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. Quality
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Maximilian Ludwig Garre
Initiating Service: TEC-MXE
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0700-04 - TEC Test Center
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 8-D-I-Advanced AIT Methods
Products Keywords: 4-E-1-e-Other

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