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INEGI again called to test space antenna arm developed for ESA's earth observation program

05 May 2021
INEGI received, once again, a new articulated arm from a space antenna to perform repeatability tests of aperture, rigidity and sun exposure, this time for the European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth observation program.

This prototype is intended to validate the concept of arm that will integrate the satellite of the Copernicus program mission responsible for monitoring terrestrial factors, such as ocean surface temperature, ice concentration and sea salinity, the CIMR - Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer.

After tests of the articulated arm of the first large European space antenna, which is being developed under the LEA - Large European Antenna project, which were also carried out at INEGI, the Institute is once again putting its competence in the field of ground test equipment for components for the space sector, at high levels of technological maturity.

Now part of the LADEA project - Large Deployment Arm for Earth Observation Applications, this new arm will also be subject to "functional, repeatability and thermal-elastic distortion tests to validate performance, technical requirements and the level of technological maturity (TRL) of this concept, in order to characterize its operation in orbit, before launching into space within the scope of the Copernicus program's mission”, explains Ricardo Lopes, member of INEGI's team dedicated to the Copernicus program.

With the first take-offs scheduled for 2027, the Copernicus program's CIMR mission represents for INEGI an investment of 1.5 million euros from ESA, for the creation of equipment for testing space satellites. At the base is the work developed in the LEA and LADEA projects, led by the German company HPS - High Performance Space Structure Systems, together with small and medium-sized companies and European innovation, research and development institutes. In Portugal, in addition to INEGI, the projects have the collaboration of the Portuguese company FHP - Frezite High Performance.
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