Testing is a key step in ARTES technology and product development projects. Overall, many different types of testing are needed such as electrical testing, antenna testing, thermal testing and high-power RF testing.
To increase access to testing, ESA offers an extensive infrastructure of internal and external laboratories and test facilities, which is available to companies from all ESA member states.
Internal laboratories are located at ESA premises and managed by ESA while the external laboratories are independent facilities based on a partnership with ESA. The external laboratories that are of specific interest to telecom projects are the ESA-VSC High Power RF Laboratory and the ESA-VSC High Power Space Materials laboratory.
These two state-of-art laboratories are open to support European entities in the development of ESA funded R&D activities and qualification of RF hardware for space missions.
Located in Valencia, these labs rely on three class 10000 clean rooms with high power test capabilities (multipactor, corona, power handling and passive intermodulation) over a wide range of frequencies (200MHz–39.5GHz). The complementary materials lab concentrates on the characterization of properties playing a role in RF breakdown: secondary electron emission yield (SEY), outgassing, venting and bake-out testing.
Use of internal and external laboratories and test facilities is to be arranged directly with the facility, under the associated terms and conditions.