14th European Space Mechanisms and Tribology Symposium 2011

Once every two years the spacecraft mechanism community gathers together for the European Space Mechanisms and Tribology Symposium (ESMATS). This bi-annual event held on alternate years in collaboration with its sister event in the USA - The Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium,  regularly attracts around 200 space mechanism designers and engineers, space scientists and satellite project and programme managers from around the world.

ESTL (ESR Technology’s Space Group) hosted the 12th ESMATS in 2007 held in Liverpool, the first time that symposium has been held in the UK.

The aim of ESMATS is to foster dialogue between space mechanism engineers; provide networking opportunities; provide a presentation platform for companies; to encourage the transfer of technology to and from space applications. The symposium is a three-day event, divided into ten sessions, with four to five papers presented at each session. The forty-three papers were selected by an organising committee, on which ESTL’s Emyr Roberts sits.

This year, ESMATS was held in the beautiful German city of Konstanz.  The conference was held in the Steigenberger Inselhotel, a former Dominican monastery and later hospital where the airship constructor Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin was born. 

Six employees from ESTL travelled to Konstanz, not only to attend this year’s symposium, but also to present the bi-annual Space Tribology Course. This year the course attracted forty-eight paying delegates representing twenty-seven organisations from fourteen countries, all reporting a high degree of satisfaction with their training.

ESTL either presented or co-authored eight papers (nearly 20% of the total) and Grant Munro chaired the third session of the symposium in which four papers were presented. The event was highly successful, attracting two hundred and eighty two registered delegates, 30% more than the previous highest attendance for this event which is now in its 28th year. Many acquaintances were renewed, splinter meetings held and new opportunities discussed. ESTL also had an exhibition stand at the symposium and sponsored of the event.

The papers that were authored or co-authored by ESTL were:

Ball Bearing Testing in Support of MTG IRS Instrument - M.J. Anderson, M. Cropper, R.W. Ireland (ESTL); C. Ehrhart (Astrium); H.J. Luhmann, M. Falkner (ESA)

Modern Self-Lubricating Composites for Space Applications: PGM-HT & Sintimid 15M - M. Buttery, B. Wardzinski, K. Houton (ESTL)

Design and Development of the EarthCARE Broadband Radiometer Mechanism Assembly - G. Munro, M. Hampson, S. Lewis (ESTL); M. Humphries (SpaceMech)

Preliminary Development of a Long-Life Contactless Power and Data Transfer Module for Next Generation Radiometry Devices - N. Cavan (SEA); M.E. Humphries (SpaceMech); S.D. Lewis (ESTL)

Thermal Vacuum Behaviour of a Stepping Piezo Actuator - C. Belly, F. Claeyssen (CEDRAT); M. Buttery (ESTL)

Piezo-Electric Linear Actuators in Vacuum - M. Buttery, R. Watters, E. Roberts (ESTL)

The Use of Dry Lubricated Bearings in Reaction Wheels - A. Haslehurst, (SSTL); S. Lewis (ESTL)

Investigation of an Anomalous Failure of Bearing on a Fan within the Columbus Module of the ISS - G. Parzianello (ESA); M. Schmid (Astrium); E. Roberts (ESTL); O. Duforet (Soterem)

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