Spacecraft Container

The Product

Based on a large series of available designs, RUAG Space delivers Spacecraft Containers tailored to customer requirements.

Pressurized Transport and Storage Containers are used for road and air transport and for long term storage of various satellites. Please have a look at a typical Satellite Container airtransport loading sequence

The Containers provide a controlled environment for the Spacecraft.



The following features can be provided as example:

  • Compatibility for requested air craft transportation w.r.t. air craft type (Boeing 747, Antonow 124, Beluga,...)
  • Fulfilling of IATA requirements for air transport
  • High passive thermal performance and self powered active thermal control
  • N2 - Pressurization System with automatic control of internal overpressure, as well as emergency venting and breathing capability. Alternately free breathing containers have been designed.
  • Support for 2 configurations (dry/wet) of the Spacecraft via adequate damping systems
  • Remotely operated fixation of the Spacecraft within the Container.

The typical configuration of a spacecraft Transport and Storage Container is a flat baseframe, a thermally insulated tub and a removable lid with external thermal insulation. The top is a pressure - vessel enclosure to provide the best load capability with minimum dimensions.

The joint between the removable lid and container base is sealed by an inflatable seal. Quick - release fasteners secure the cover to the base.

Joints are welded to minimize sealing problems. For high mass satellites, carbon and stainless steel is chosen. For both cases the material selected for the interface to the Spacecraft is Aluminium alloy.

Aluminium alloy is used as structural material due to its light weight, its cleanliness and its favourable magnetic properties.

The environmental requirements are achieved by a dry nitrogen overpressure system and a self-regulating Thermal Control Unit, which incorporates its own diesel generator and heating/cooling equipment.

A helicable damping systems attenuate shock and vibration. Instrumentation fitted comprises a Shock Recorder and a Temperature and Humidity recorder. In - facility mobility of the Container is assisted by braked, swivel - lock castors, which can be retracted for transport.

The typical Qualification Process comprises tests for:

  • Function Sequence
  • Gas Tightness
  • Dynamic Response (Drop Test, Road Test)
  • Thermal Behavior
  • Water Spray Test
  • Electrical Bonding Tes

Programs ´╗┐ 

Pressurised Containers:

Cluster EADS Astrium
Envisat EADS Astrium
ERS 1&2 EADS Astrium
Huygens EADS Astrium
Integral Thales Alenia Space
MetOp EADS Astrium
Mipas EADS Astrium
MSG Thales Alenia Space
Seviri EADS Astrium
Silex EADS Astrium
Soho EADS Astrium

Non Pressurised Containers:

Alphasat EADS Astrium
Amos, Eros IAI, MBT
Artemis Thales Alenia Space
Ariane Snecma
Ariane Booster Dutch Space
Enivsat Thales Alenia Space
Eurostar 3000 ´╗┐EADS Astrium
Gaia EADS Astrium
Herschel/Planck EADS Astrium
Italsat Thales Alenia Space
Satellite Transport Container Space Systems/Loral, MDA
Solar Orbiter EADS Astrium