RUAG Space offers a full range of products for payload equipment....


RUAG Space has developed a full range of covers for diverse instruments like Rosina from Rosetta, SOVIM from ISS, Lyra from Proba and for FEEP using Caesium gas.

For ESA's XMM-Newton Space Telescope, RUAG Space has developed a Reversible Deployment Mechanism for opening and closing of a venting and outgassing door, and a spring driven, non-reversible Lightweight Deployment Mechanism (LDM) for in-orbit opening of cover doors of an optical aperture.

Laser Chopper and Flip Flop Mechanisms

RUAG Space is the only company in Europe that can provide the customers with these miniaturised mechanisms. These products have been developed for Aladin an instrument of Aeolus. Missions like EarthCare, MeteoSat Third Generation are further potential applications.


Scan Mechanisms

After the Scan Mechanism Mipas on Envisat, RUAG Space has developed a two-axis scan mechanism for the IASI Instrument on the polar orbiting weather satellite Metop under the leadership of ThalesAlenia Space. This mechanism is required to perform in excess of 700 million activations during its five-year operational life. All flight models were delivered in 2002, the first flight unit is operating successfully since October 2006.

Disturbance Compensation Mechanism

The Disturbance Compensation Mechanism DCM essentially comprises a flywheel which is being accelerated/decelerated to produce a reaction-torque onto the S/C Platform that is exactly compensating the torque produced by the Scanner itself. A small Gyroscope affixed to the mobile part of the Scanner (i.e. the only necessary I/F with the scanning instrument) is measuring the angular rate change of the Scanner: The Disturbance Compensation Mechanism (DCM) Electronics converts this measurement into a command signal for the DCM drive motor to appropriately accelerate/decelerate the flywheel thus counteracting the Scanner torque. The angular rate of the DCM flywheel is controlled in a closed loop system.

  • Peak Torque (Disturbing Source): 1 Nm
  • Angular Momentum (Dist. Source): 1 Nms
  • Residual Torque: (0.1 to 20 Hz) 25 mNm
  • Reduction of Torque Disturbances: F > 10
  • Static Unbalance (DCM): 10 mNm
  • Life Cycles: > 18 million
  • Performance is Independent of Disturbing Source Parameters (MoI, Scan Frequency and Amplitude)
  • Scan Frequency: approx. 0.1 Hz
  • Scanning Angle: ±25 deg
  • Scanning Structure Inertia: approx. 1 kgm²
  • Scanning Mass: ±15 kg

MSL Drive Mechanism

The MSL (Material Science Laboratory) drive mechanism is a high precision linear actuator with a very large speed range. This mechanism was designed to work in a high vacuum environment in the International Space Station. Its purpose is to displace an oven with a large speed stability at low speed and to measure the position of the oven. Two different motors, connected together through a clutch mechanism, are used to achieve the very large speed range.

Design had also to take into account safety rules linked to manned flight and operations.

  • Speed: processing: 10-8 to 0.2 ·10-3 m/s
  • Quenching: 10-3 to 0.1 m/s
  • Stroke: 204 mm
  • Operating temperature: +10°C to +60°C
  • Pressure: ambient to 10-5 Torr
  • Lifetime: 2 years of operation in orbit

Aerosol Collector Pyrolysor

RUAG Space has designed, manufactured, and tested a filter mechanism to collect aerosols particles from Titan (Saturn satellite) and bring them to an oven for “pyrolise”. The main difficulties of this mechanism were to withstand big thermal differences and the level of cleanliness required. So, tightness was an important issue and was solved by laser welding.

A specific choice of material was necessary to ensure the functionality after seven years under vacuum conditions with very few displacements.

Specific equipment (toolings) has been implemented to avoid any organic particles pollution.

Power consumption was also an important parameter.

  • Chemical cleanliness: < 10 ppb for CO2 and CO > 100 ppb for H2O and H2
  • Thermal variation from -200°C to +650°C (around oven)
  • Tightness: better than 10-8 mbl/s

This mechanism can be used for planetary exploration.

Corner Cube Mechanism

The Corner Cube Mechanism (CCM) is a part of an interferometer. Its purpose is to displace very precisely a corner cube (mirror) in the optical path of the interferometer. The present mechanism was developed for the IASI instrument of the METOP satellite.

  • Speed: 132.5 mm/s
  • Average speed tolerance: < ±0.5 mm/s
  • Instantaneous speed variation: < ±1 mm/s
  • Maximum stroke: ±10.3 mm
  • Measurement accuracy of the position: < 0.01 mm
  • Stability of the origin during life: < 10 μm
  • Tilt of the mirror: < 30 arcmin
  • Lifetime: 7.3 ·108 cycles

Refocusing Mechanism

RUAG space has developed a mechanism for refocusing optical telescopes. The mechanism provides commanded positioning of a mirror along one-axis with high thermal stability and high accuracy of < 0.001 mm. The mechanism mass is 1.85 kg, for a supported mirror mass of 0.55 kg.