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Prestigious contract aerospace industry for Capable

ESA (the European Space Agency) operates a test centre at ESTEC Noordwijk in the Netherlands. This is a unique place in Europe that has been designed to test large spacecraft and aerospace structures.

The Test Centre offers a full range of test facilities to simulate the environmental conditions experienced by spacecraft during launch. These include hydraulic and electro-dynamic vibration test systems, shock testing, measurement facilities, and electro-magnetic compatibility test facilities. One of the systems in this test building is called the Large Space Simulator (LSS), which basically consists of a large vacuum chamber. For the LSS, ESTEC has invested in a completely new spacecraft manipulation robot with an increased level of movement freedom, which will replace the existing system.

For this new spacecraft manipulation system, TKH operating company Capable was asked to develop, design and produce the complete harnessing, both inside the LSS and between the LSS and the control room. The cable specifications had to meet stringent functional demands regarding flexibility, hygiene, life span, and compatibility with prescribed connector interfaces. Dimensional constraints also had to be taken into account.

The project was carried out by a dedicated project team from Capable in close co-operation with the customer’s own project team. All technical, logistical and management aspects were discussed. Capable carried out the complete assembly and testing of the high-quality cable systems in-house. To achieve this, investments were made in Capable’s testing facilities in Breda. Dedicated operator training was also given in co-operation with ESA-ESTEC, ensuring that Capable is fully prepared for future assignments. .