Series of HDR actuators based on thermal cutting
ESA Contract No. 4000109413/13/NL/CBi
The main objective of the project is to develop reliable, simple, lightweight, compact and cost-effective type of Hold Down & Release Actuators (HDRA) understood as off-the-shelf building blocks suitable for the purposes of future space missions. As a result, ASTRONIKA will broaden its product range with the series of a new type of HDR actuators based on synthetic fibre thermal cutting manner activation.
The main application areas of the proposed HDRAs are:

  • To secure mechanisms during launch,
  • Once in orbit or during descent to/on planetary surface, to release movable payload items, deployable appendages and separable mission elements.

The proposed device fits the niche of lock & release mechanisms. No similar components with the properties listed below can be found on the European market or even in the US. Therefore, ASTRONIKA aims at becoming a permanent supplier of this type of equipment for the space industry sector. The effects of the project are based on long-term involvement in the production of aerospace components.

The proposed solution will have several principal advantages in comparison to existing American and European devices, i.e.:

  • Wide operational temperature range (-160°C / +80°C);
  • Non-explosiveness;
  • Low shock generation;
  • Reusability;
  • Low power consumption (2÷4 W within 4÷10 s);
  • Non-magnetic influence;
  • High hold-down stiffens, superior to the ordinary solutions based on the Dyneema string thermal cutting method;
  • Off-the-shelf series type.

ASTRONIKA acquired the license from the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (CBK PAN) to use and commercialize the Dyneema string melting actuation concept. Base prototype developed by CBK PAN as shown in the photo.

Project is carried out under ESA Contract No. 4000109413/13/NL/CBi. Completion date: 2016.