10 February 2021

Smiths Interconnect laboratory replicates deep space

Space & Aerospace

In December 2019, Smiths Interconnect celebrated the opening of its new Qualification and Test laboratory in Dundee, Scotland. The new laboratory offers a one-stop shop for critical qualification and testing of Smiths Interconnect’s products in Europe.

The facility has a unique capability to replicate the environmental pressures of deep space with high power amplifiers and vacuum systems and to assess products against the same extreme vacuum and heat pressures they would have to withstand in space.

The facility offers testing which analyses high power radio frequency devices and breakdown phenomena in vacuum or near-vacuum conditions, and utilises radioactive sources to simulate the cosmic radiation that can often trigger the onset of these phenomena. This is an important factor in the reliability or operation of a satellite or other space-based equipment.

The new laboratory facility is also able to replicate the G-force for a rocket launch to assess the effects on products at launch. At maximum shock testing, shock testing equipment generates up to 105dB+ of noise and requires a special soundproof room.

Being able to offer these complex tests is a major benefit and a real point of competitive differentiation for Smiths Interconnect.

Satellite