CORDIS - EU research results

Smt compatible ELECTroMechanical relay for cOmpact redundancy Ring

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SELECTOR (Smt compatible ELECTroMechanical relay for cOmpact redundancy Ring)

Reporting period: 2021-12-01 to 2022-09-30

SELECTOR has contributed to the EC policy : “Reaching non-dependence in certain technologies will open new markets to our industries and will increase the overall competitiveness of the European Space sector”. It focused on the development of innovative passive components to increase the number of freely accessible space qualified passive components. SELECTOR has enabled to develop Surface Mount Technology (SMT) compatible electromechanical switches for space sector high miniaturization. These devises called “Miniature Electro Mechanical Relay” (MEMR), already existed for microwave industrial ground application like Automatic Test Equipment. Selector's objective was to optimize these smt switches in order to adapt them to space conditions improve their performance, minimize the costs and improve integration. Indeed, the new generations of satellites have a new architecture and the components must adapt to this new architecture. Switches must be smaller, lighter, withstand harsh environments and have improved RF performances. SELECTOR has enabled to deliver MEMR as part of ESA portfolio European Preferred Part List (EPPL) so that this high integration, high performance passive component be available with no restriction for the whole European industry. In parallel, the satellite manufacturer has developped a redundancy ring demonstrator that integrates these switches.. This demonstrator is addressed to Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS) emerging applications where the new paradigm is the introduction of digital technologies dealing with very high number of RF chains. VHTS system answers to telecommunication operator calling for optimized capital expenditure, no matter which network, ground or space, to supply their products and services. New evolution toward high RF power and high frequency capability has been implemented to open-up new sector of application within Space satellites (Navigation, earth observation), but also non space sectors. SELECTOR value chain included a supplier of space passive component “Radiall”, a space integrator “Thales Alenia Space”, a leader into electromagnetic design the “Universitat polytecnica of Valencia” and a center of excellence for space reliability of high complexity miniature component the “CSEM”.
The selector project is finished and the consortium has reached all the objectifs. All the deliverables have been submitted. The work carried out has been focused on two main parts: the technical part and the dissemination part.
Regarding the technical part, we reached a TRL 7. First the specifications have been established. Next the research & developpement task has allowed to obtain innovative features of the switch. Indeed the hermeticity of the switch is IP67, the RF performances are satisfactory until 32 GHz (operating frequency: DC-32 GHz, isolation: DC-22GHz: -50 dB max/ 22 GHz-32GHz: -50 dB max, shielding efficienty: DC-22GHz: -40dBi / 22 GHz-32GHz: -40dBi) and the switch is compliant with the space environment and with the Thales requirements. The design of the switch is fixed and Radiall has started the industrialization with the developpement of several tools, tests bench etc...
Thales has also developped the redundancy ring and finished the qualification. CSEM has realized the MEMR reliability assessment methodology and test plan definition.
The advisory board has been involved at different steps of the project to define the specifications and to established qualification test plan of the switch.
To finish the consortium made the promotion of the selector project by different channels:
A dedicated graphic chart has been put in place for the different support of communication. The selector website is available and present the differents steps of the project.
However the communication in conference has been impacted by the covid crisis. Several conference have been canceled but at the end of the project the consortium did an additional effort to catch up. the consortium has participated to EMW conference, SPCD conference and ESREF conference. Regarding the publications, the consortium has submitted several papers, one in the CSEM Scientific and Technical journal in 2021 and another one in microelectronics reliability journal in 2022
The design of the switch is finished, most of the specifications have been reached and the industrialization has been started. Indeed serveral MEMR innovative improvements have been developped. The switch is hermetic IP67, the hyperfrequency performances have been extended (operating frequency: DC-32 GHz, isolation: DC-22GHz: -50 dB max/ 22 GHz-32GHz: -50 dB max, shielding efficienty: DC-22GHz: -40dBi / 22 GHz-32GHz: -40dBi). The selector switch has been designed with the outgassing material list and it resist to harsh environment (Sine vibration 30G (5-2000 Hz), Random vibrations: 50G rms 10 to 2000 Hz). The SMT technology is compliant with the redundancy ring. Regarding the industrialization several tools have been developped and test bench have been put in placed. The evolution of the manufacturing processes of the MEMR (Space vs Telecom) have been defined : manufacturing process (process flowchart), draft work instructions, draft specification of special equipment. At the same time, the architecture of the redundancy ring has been fixed and the set up of a demonstrator is finished. Recently the redundancy ring has been qualified. We have also fairly widely disseminated our activity through various communication channels. (website etc ...). At the end of the project, an additional effort has been made regarding our communication activity.

The economic impact for Radiall should lead to the hiring of 4 people and about 200 people for Thales.