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Big telecommunication satellites have extensive requirements for sensing during nominal operation and testing:
Further instrumentation of interest for optimized satellite verification (e.g. in flight) and operation if feasible w/o major budget and cost impacts are:
Current sensing technologies do not allow a high degree of multiplexing which results particularly into a cumbersome harness (e.g. 150 temperature sensors x 2 wires = 300 wires). Fiber optic sensing (FOS) has a range of advantages in comparison to conventional sensors, especially under severe environment conditions such as space applications. Moreover, the following features of fiber optic sensors recommend their application in innovative technical fields, e.g., for integrity and health monitoring of telecommunication satellites, where the equivalent electrically based measurements can not be performed or only with low performance characteristics:
In the course of this activity, the potentials and benefits of fiber optic sensing technologies shall be demonstrated by a reasonable combination of analysis and testing. A demonstrator which is composed of satellite mockups, instrumented with fiber optic sensor, fiber optic harness and signal processing shall be built and tested.
The following key issues will be addressed:
Fiber optic sensing (FOS) technologies possess the potential to replace a variety of existing sensing solutions in telecommunication satellites, e.g. temperature sensors for temperature control. Furthermore, the potentials of FOS allow the implementation of new instrumentation functions. In the following some examples are listed for improved functions (means replacement of existing solutions) or new functions:
The activity is divided into two main parts. The first task "Definition of Satellite Monitoring Requirements" is covering all activities related to the definition of the monitoring requirements and the subsequent selection of FOS applications in a standard GEO telecommunication satellite.
The FOS technology shall be traded against existing sensing solutions to clearly identify the potentials of fiber optic sensing for replacing existing sensing concepts or for new instrumentation with regard to the monitoring requirements.
Based on the technical potentials of FOS, satellite specialist (Astrium) + payload supplier (Tesat) + structure specialist (HPS) shall derive candidate applications which have so far not been considered due to limitations of existing solutions.
Phase II is divided into an analysis phase and design / hardware oriented phase. After the execution of all design analyses with regards to to the measurement requirements (multi-parameter, multiplexing, etc) the demonstrator design shall be derived.
The project started in September 06 and is currently in the detailed design phase. In phase 1, the generic monitoring requirements for satellite instrumentation have been defined taking into account the entire life cycle of the satellite system, subsystem and components. The term generic in this context means that the definition of monitoring requirement should not have been influenced by constraints such as mass, costs or technical impediments. The outcome of the monitoring requirements has than be compared assessed with regard to the technical features and potentials of fiber optic sensing. Based on the available technical maturity of fiber optic sensing the following applications have been selected for demonstration testing: