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Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28

Large System Integrators (LSI) in Europe are interested in Mechanically Pumped Loops (MPLs) which are high heat rejection thermal control systems (between 10kW and 20 kW as reference) for their utilisation as thermal control systems of active antennas or of the satellite platform. Furthermore, the lack of precise thermal stability in existing thermal control systems and the dependence on the nuclear energy, is stopping the development of new scientific instruments. Therefore, HEART will be an enabling technology for future scientific missions.

The MAIN OBJECTIVE of this project is to accelerate the introduction of AVS´s MPL technology into the Satcom global market. AVS has developed a High Heat Rejection Thermal Control System (HEART) that is an innovative Mechanically Pumped Loop, a new product for thermal control purposes capable of dissipating more than 10kW that will assure an easier manufacturing and improved performances (50% increase in durability), easier assembly and more efficient manufacturing cost compared to actual alternative solutions. This has resulted in Airbus Defence and Space’s commitment use and fly the HEART in their next telecom satellite launch.
Airbus includes a global thermal control toolbox that goes from the simplest design to the most advanced solution based on Thermal MPL design. HEART includes to fly the final solution thanks to the next Eurostar 3000 satellite of Airbus (for in-orbit test) phase and 1 month the second phase (this test will continue for another 15 years after the project ends) and monitored by Airbus.

HEART points it commercial interest in the Satellite manufacturing segment, that reached in 2015 $16.6 billion revenues (10b$ in U.S.) which means a growth of 4% over the previous year. It is estimated to reach a 25% market share in six years and 50% in the long-term of Europe’s market. And as consequence, the company will have an accumulated EBITDA of +16.89 M€ and new +50.4 M€ turnover in six years.
The work performed considers the work done since the beginning of the project until the closure, March 2021.

WP1 has been carried out throughout the project. A Project Management Plan was submitted at the beginning of the project, which has been later followed. WP1 has mainly consisted on coordinating technical, administrative and financial activities and reporting progress. IPR and legal aspects as well as the coordination of the advisory board have been activities performed during the project.

WP 2 TECHNOLOGY ENHANCEMENT has been successfully completed. This work package has consisted on the design improvement and optimization, on which a design description document has been delivered. In addition the Engineering model prototype has been manufactured and the tests to be carried out designed and prepared. Finally the tests have been carried out obtaining the results described in the EM Test results document uploaded to SYGMA.

WP3 VALIDATION has been almost completed, the PFM was design and has been manufactured as well as the test rig. Some difficulties that will be later explained have been encountered during the procurement and manufacturing phase. With regards to the test campaign, vibration and thermal tests have not been able to be completed. Nevertheless, the functionality and leak testing of the MPL has been successfully verified, as well as the acceptance test, which consisted of testing the functionality in order to prove the correct performance of the test rig with the PFM integrated for verifying that the tests that will later be carried out during the parabolic flight are valid.

WP4 PARABOLIC FLIGHT TESTING PREPARATION has also been finished. The test plan to be held during the parabolic flight of the MPL PFM has been generated, coordinating with the flight operator for considering the required documentation related to the parabolic flight. This task will continue after the closure of this grant agreement, because AVS has a contract with ESA for performing the parabolic flight, which will try to be middle 2022. For more information, please, see ANNEX 1 from the periodic report.

The tasks from WP5 COMMUNICATION & BP UPDATE have been also done. The dissemination & communication roadmap submitted considers the plan which has been followed after the amendment. The project website was also launched at the beginning of the project and has been updated with the different activities performed The business plan proposed at the beginning of the project has also been updated and submitted.

The PFM is not ready for the parabolic flight at this point. First, qualification campaign will need to be finished.

The ethics assessment has been completed and two deliverables related to dual use and materials have been uploaded to the platform.
With this project, AVS will accelerate the introduction of AVS’s MPL into the Satcom Market, and more concretely in the thermal-control technologies for satellites market. The key technical difference that makes HEART a disruptive “space systems refrigeration” product is its two-phase core technology.
As the expected results of the project, with HEART it is expected a capacity of achieving a heat load rejection capability of 10 kW (x 10 times higher than alternatives), with increased robustness and reliability and a durability of minimum 15 years.

AVS develops technologies to be implemented in systems related to telecom satellites so its business is directly related to the number of telecom satellites demanded. AVS is in direct contact with all the big players / LSI (primes) who are currently involved in the development of the Future Satcom platforms (AIRBUS, Thales Alenia
Space and OHB). Thanks to this, AVS has gathered very important information in terms of their needs, which has helped in developing the strategy for the marketable AVS products. At the same time, AVS developed an important network of contacts for market penetration, putting AVS in the best possible position for HEART
exploitation. In the specific case of Airbus, the estimated demand for MPLs is 15 systems in two years (aprox 6.7 M €), starting with 6 thermal control systems, once HEART is in the market.

The detailed business plan developed by AVS during 2016 shows that the commercialisation of AVS product will consolidate the company, boosting its revenues and growth within the next few years. The table presents the resulting project Profit&Losses, considering HEART income forecast until 2025. As shown in calculations, it is expected that the project will be profitable (payback of the investment in 3 years), with significant benefits: 50.4 M € revenue in six years and an accumulated EBITDA of +16.89 M€ in six years. The growth considers that first two years there is an exclusivity clause with AIRBUS, with a significant boost once this is over.