European Space Agency

New ITAR-free Motor Gearbox for Space

Within ESA’s ARTES C&G Product phase, Reliance Precision Ltd have developed the EuroSMG Stepper Motor Gearbox (or SMG). The Gearbox has been designed to meet the mechanism requirements for a high-power telecoms satellite application as specified by Airbus Defence & Space Limited.

It has been a 5-year programme from concept to qualification, introducing a new rotary actuation product to market which addresses ESA’s objective of improving the competitiveness of European satellites. The SMG has been designed and manufactured in the UK and is free from ITAR restrictions.

The SMG is a fully integrated motor gearbox, with primary and redundant motors and a 201:1 ratio orbiting gearbox. It is a high reliability SMG, designed for 16 years’ life, with materials and processes carefully selected to suit the space environment and ECSS margins included in the performance specification. The in-depth programme has included iterations of Breadboard, Engineering Models and Qualification Models prior to full production supply.The EuroSMG Stepper Motor Gearbox (SMG)

There has been a strong collaborative working relationship established between ESA and Reliance throughout this successful technical development programme. By sharing technical knowledge and techniques as well as providing guidance, ESA have helped Reliance to develop the necessary credibility in the design and supply of space mechanisms.

Reliance Precision Ltd have been awarded a major contract by Airbus Defence and Space Limited for the development and supply of a Space Actuator for Eurostar Neo, Airbus’s new GEO telecommunications satellite platform. This is an important step in the SMG development roadmap and will address ESA’s objective to improve competetiveness in the European satellite industry.

Xavier Geneste, ESA Space Segment Engineer said: “Reliance entered the space business through the main door, delivering a high performing and high quality product. Their commitment and dedication are key ingredients for success.”

Kathryn Hullah, Reliance Space Business Manager said: “The EuroSMG ARTES project has enabled Reliance to develop essential knowledge, skills and capabilities in space product development, being a sound building block for future space solutions.”


Published 22 February 2018
Last updated at 12 July 2018 - 12:24