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Deployment and Separation

RUAG Space offers a brand range of Deployment and Separation. ...

The Separation Mechanism for the Cassini/Huygens mission was developed by RUAG Space. Three mechanisms are housed in one integral fitting for the separation from Cassini, the front shield separation, and the back cover separation.

  • Separation via Pyro-nuts and bolt-cutters
  • Ejection by means of compressed springs
  • Spin-up of probe via helical tracks and rollers
  • Precise separation trajectory:
    - V-axial = 0.3 m/s, 
    - V-lateral < 25 mm/s
    - Spin = 6 rpm
  • Umbilical connectors separation system
  • Small volume and low mass (23 kg)

Low Shock Release Unit

This hold down and release mechanism is used to hold the stowed solar array panels down to the satellite sidewall during launch and to release the panels on orbit for deployment.

The basic principle of the low shock release unit is the conversion of strain energy (preload) into rotation admitting a gentle energy dissipation and a smooth release actuation with a minimum mechanical shock.

  • Preload 33 kN
  • Stack height up to 250 mm
  • Energy relief time 3-5 times slower as the strain relief of a conventional release unit, e.g. split tool device, reduced shock on the equipment in the vicinity of the LSRU

Hold Down and Release Mechanism

Space mechanisms e.g. antenna pointing devices, require a load release during ground operations and launch. This is achieved by so called “Hold Down and Release Mechanisms” (HRM or HDRM).

The HRM units are designed to compensate for the tolerance mismatch between antenna dimensions and the location of their fixation points on the spacecraft. To damp the release shock acting on the reflector antenna, a special damper system is used.

  • M10 pyronut with fully redundant NSI initiators
  • Capability to compensate for manufacturing and assembly errors
  • Shock release damper system reducing the overall shock level by one order of magnitude

Sealed Brush Gear Motor SBGM

The Sealed Brush Gear Motor is mainly dedicated as in orbit deployment motion control and actuation mechanism for solar array panels. But the SBGM can also be used for other applications where a robust, simple and space qualified actuator is needed. The SBGM mechanism can be operated in motor and generator (brake) mode. No complex electronic controller is needed.

Deployment Mechanism for Large Appendage DESY

RUAG Space provides a spring driven, non-reversible Deployment System for Large Appendages, which is focusing on high position accuracy and stiffness in the deployed configuration. In addition, it also provides an integrated deployment damper to eliminate the end position latching shock. This Deployment System is intended for the deployment of large appendages such as large Reflector Antennas or Solar Arrays


Deployment Dampers

RUAG provides the Eddy Current Damper ECD and the Viscous Deployment Damper for passive driven mechanisms for antenna, solar array and payload deployment.

The Eddy Current Damper ECD is designed to fulfill a wide range of applications on satellites in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbit) that are used for scientific or telecommunications purposes by using a standard product to minimize costs on system level. The Eddy Current Damper is a passive device.

The Viscous Deployment Damper essentially consists of housing and rotor. When turned, the rotor forces highly viscous working fluid through narrow gaps. The resistive torque thus generated is proportional to shaft angular rotation rate and fluid viscosity. The damper is available in versions for deployment angles up to 90° and up to 270° deployment.

Articulated Boom Deployment Mechanism

RUAG’s ABDM is a part of the ESA Project development ABDS and the EU Project LEA. As the self motorized, ITAR-free hinge is able to deploy the boom, the antenna with ultra high stiffness and precision, it latches in deployed configuration without power consumption.

Ultra-light Deployment Mechanism

RUAG’s UDM operates a single axis passive deployment single shot with a deployment angle between 0° and 200°. Developed for advanced antenna systems it features a very high stiffness, thermal stability in deployed configuration while very low mass as well as a wide temperature range.


RUAG’s Pinpuller features with its L³-design (low mass , low shock and low cost) 500N lateral load, a pull force of 200N  at only 24W heater power consumption and 150g mass.


Interested? For more information please contact:
Niklas Boman, Director Marketing & Sales Spacecraft
T: +41 79 77 07 107