ESR Technology awarded ESA contract to develop ‘Lunar dust resilient louvered radiators’

ESR Technology, supported by sub-contractor Almatech (of Switzerland), have been awarded a key contract to develop a radiator solution that is resilient to lunar dust, with the intent that these are used for dissipating heat on a future European Lunar Lander or Rover applications, such as the EL3. The contract, which kicks-off on 06-Sep-2021 involves development of rapid prototype mock-ups, critical prototypes of components and a system prototype that is planned to be characterised in vacuum and subsequently demonstrated to operate in a simulated dusty environment. The programme has a duration of 2 years.

The ESA Large Logistics Lander (EL3 - image credit to ESA) is a candidate application for the radiator to be developed

The challenge of developing mechanisms for the harsh lunar environment is a formidable one. The temperature on the surface of the Moon ranges from 30 K in permanently shadowed craters at the poles to about 395 K at the sub-solar point on the lunar equator. Add to this the harsh abrasive nature of the dust, which can have considerable iron content, being magnetic, and can also be electrostatically charged. The dust can not only affect mechanism reliability by getting into to critical areas but it can seriously affect the thermal balance by changing sensitive thermo-optical properties, particularly for surfaces intended to have low emissivity or high solar reflectivity. Further, the IR loading from the lunar surface can be a challenge in some cases, so the thermal control strategies must be very resilient.

According to ESR’s Head of Mechanisms, Andrew Gibson, “We have recognised the challenges to be significant and have put together a team that is capable of taking on the challenge. We are pleased to have Almatech on board, who are highly experienced in design of long-life flexure devices and drive systems. They are also well-suited to lead the advanced thermal and structural analyses required. We have also included Spacemech Ltd, who retain a great depth of experience including having led work on similar mechanisms dating from ESA’s first deep space mission, Giotto. To deal with the challenges of lunar dust we have enlisted support of the Dr. Simeon Barber of Space Science Solutions Limited, who brings plenty of experience in dealing with the challenges related to dusty conditions of the moon and Mars. Combined with ESR’s experience in long-life mechanism design and lubrication at extreme temperatures, our team is ready for the challenge. We are keen to apply our tribology and mechanism design capabilities, with ESR leading the development of this active thermal solution for the lunar environment.”

In fact, this type of thermal control device is right in line with a recently acquired technology. The original design was targeted for cube-sats, but it is readily scalable for other applications and very attractive in terms of simple interfaces and being slim in terms of volume required. ESR are looking to offer this technology to new partners, for adaptation to suit various size cube-sats as well as for other needs. ESR completed the acquisition of the cubesat thermal shutter mechanism IP from Spacemech Limited in 2020, with Spacemech continuing to support further developments, such as the one described above which will be tailored for lunar applications.

Thermal shutter

ESR Technology Participating at SmallSat 2021 (Utah, USA) from Aug 7-12, 2021

ESR Technology is proud to be sponsoring the Technical Session at SmallSat 2021, covering the Year in Review for Research & Academia, which will be held at 10am local time in Utah, on Wed. August 11th (5pm UK – BST). We look forward to connecting with like-minded individuals, who are looking to develop more optimal mechanisms and thermal solutions for cubesats, and to offer our experience from decades of work to develop low-cost solutions that are highly reliable. It is important to highlight our experience to many NewSpace developers who may not be aware of our history and capabilities, being based in the UK.

SmallSat

In particular, ESR are looking to highlight the opportunity to partner to adapt a thermal shutter mechanism for smallsat and cubesat applications, and will be debuting a new promotional video highlighting this mechanism.The original design is targeted for cubesats, but it is readily scalable for other applications and very attractive in terms of simple interfaces and being slim in terms of volume required. ESR completed the acquisition of the cubesat thermal shutter mechanism from Spacemech Limited in 2020. 

 

Managing Fire Safety in Offshore Accommodation

Sunset Oil Rig

Offshore accommodation and related areas present a fire risk different from the Major Accident Hazard risks and could pose a life safety threat to the occupants. Regulators are increasingly expecting evidence from operators that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment has been performed for those areas, in compliance with legislation.

This often requires a dedicated fire risk assessment, separate from the overall platform Major Accident Hazard risk assessment. There is therefore a need to identify all fire hazards, assess the risks, ensure there are adequate controls and that these remain functional at all times for the safety of personnel.

At ESR technology, we have the right mix of skillsets and expertise in both fire engineering and technical safety to help you satisfy the regulatory requirements by undertaking your accommodation Fire Risk Assessments in a robust, pragmatic and flexible manner in line with industry good practice.

If you want to have a chat about the fire safety of your accommodation and related areas, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also download our flyer here.

Joining an Organisation in a Pandemic - A Graduate Process Safety Consultant's Perspective

Ryan Henderson

Starting a graduate scheme or new job is a daunting prospect at any time, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic. I was fortunate that the application and recruiting process for the ESR Technology graduate scheme had concluded in early March 2020, and I received a job offer shortly before the initial Covid-19 lockdown to work out of their Aberdeen office. My final month of university lectures became remote, as did my previous part-time job, and after graduating at the end of May I could now look forward to taking my first steps along my chosen career path later that Summer.

Chris Proud, ESR’s Technical Lead in Aberdeen: “ESR tend to recruit a number of graduates each year and we look to do this early on in the year so that the candidates can start work during the summer following conclusion of their degree course. 2020 started out no different from any other, although it panned out quite different as we all know. From the outset, we were keen to continue with our commitment to bring in Ryan towards the end of the summer. The time between the selection process concluding and Ryan starting in late summer allowed things to settle down into the “new normal” and gave us space to think about how to onboard Ryan effectively. Key considerations were: establishing links within the business, particularly with our other office locations; integrating Ryan within the Aberdeen team; supporting Ryan with HR aspects, project work, etc.; and, importantly, making sure Ryan felt welcome.”

Once it had been agreed that I would officially come onboard in early September, I finally had a start date to look forward to. After conversations with Chris, it was decided that a single day per week in our Aberdeen office, while working remotely the remainder of the week, would allow us to follow government guidance at the time, and also aid my induction into the company. This was beneficial, however due to my previous experience of remote working earlier in the year, I felt that I adapted to the remote aspect of the new job well.

After three weeks the early signs of the pandemic’s second wave began to show, and we switched to fully remote working, with twice weekly Aberdeen team video calls at either end of the week and plenty of other calls in between. There have been times when this has been tough, however I’ve found that communicating and asking for help is more important than ever during remote working. It can seem daunting to call a project manager over the smallest ‘trivial’ aspect of a piece of work, much harder than simply talking across the office, but it is vital to do so to avoid becoming bogged down in the work. My colleagues at ESR have been extremely supportive on this. I am looking forward to a return to office working (at least partially) in the coming months.

HOIS announces upcoming First World Conference for Digitalisation of Inspection and Integrity in the Energy Industry, 5 & 6 October 2021

HOIS is excited to announce that we will be hosting a trailblazing virtual event which addresses the critical need for sharing of knowledge and industry dialogue on the rapidly evolving transformation of asset management in the energy industry resulting from the digitalisation of inspection and integrity applications and processes.

We look forward to building on the success of the HOIS Digitalisation Forum events to bring together developers, practitioners, and operators of energy facilities. The virtual meeting will be held over two days on 5 and 6 October 2021 and will share recent innovations, the challenges to implementation, and highlight the benefits digitalisation will deliver.

We are inviting abstracts which will be reviewed by a technical industry steering group. Announcements on key dates, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities will follow.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Digitalisation Conference

First World Conference for Digitalisation of Inspection and Integrity in the Energy Industry, virtual event 5 & 6 October 2021

We have placed cookies on your computer to help make this website better.

More details can be found in our privacy policy.