Precision Encoders in Outer Space? AVS Space and Fagor Automation collaborate in the Aerospace Market
For decades, Fagor Automation has developed CNC Systems and high accuracy encoders that exceed the demands needed to manufacture precision components that will be used in space. Now, Fagor Automation and AVS Space are in the final testing stages of a two year collaboration to develop an encoder for space applications, capable of meeting the demanding requirements of current and future missions.
AVS develops space mechanisms and robotics that can be deployed in space; specifically for space exploration, instrumentation for earth observation, thermal control systems for communication, satellites, and electric propulsion trhusters.
Many of the mechanisms must include an instrument for measuring the absolute position of the moving parts. The systems that require these devices are: altitude control systems, solar panel systems, antenna pointing systems, door opening systems, propeller pointing systems, instrument deployment, etc. In many of these cases, the measurement element is critical for the operation of the equipment, since parameters such as accuracy and resolution are linked to their operation. In addition, these devices must operate in the demanding environmental conditions of space, and must withstand radiation, high temperature fluctuations, and high vacuums.
Fagor Automation, part of MONDRAGON Corporation, has cultivated years of extensive experience in developing and manufacturing automation and machine control products. It stands out for its software development capacity and the flexibility of its production system to offer customized solutions, depending on the needs of the customers.
AVS provides its experience in developing mechanisms and instrumentation for space missions to carry out the qualification of the new product; while Fagor Automation provides its leadership and R&D capacity with its own technologies in the four fields involved in the manufacturing of encoders: mechanics, optics, electronics, and software.
This collaboration has resulted in a customized encoder product that has successfully passed the functional tests, and is going through exhaustive stress and performance testing in the coming months. The encoder has already proven its ability to measure position despite extreme conditions (vast temperature fluctuations, magnetic belts, and high-grade vacuums).
This development will allow AVS to improve the precision of its mechanisms, enhancing its offer for highly demanding areas such as earth observation, and improving its market positioning in the development of space mechanisms. Likewise, this will allow Fagor Automation to enter the space sector.
Fagor Automation’s motto, Open to your world, was selected because Fagor is truly open to the needs of the industry. We are always willing to work on applications that are breaking the barriers of what was once thought impossible.