The distinguished role of SENER in the Euclid mission

23/05/2017 (Poland)

The SENER engineering and technology group is participating in the Euclid mission, by the European Space Agency (ESA), to study the expansion of the universe.

The team of SENER engineers in Poland is responsible for manufacturing and testing the largest quantity of MGSE (mechanical ground support equipment) for assembling satellites. The MGSE materials are primarily used to precisely control the movement of the satellite at different levels to provide access to technicians, to transport them to test chambers, and to position them in the loading compartment of the launch vehicle.

For the Euclid mission, SENER is designing, manufacturing and testing thirteen of these pieces of equipment. So far, SENER has tested the horizontal lifting device (HLD), the centre of gravity adjustment module; the lifting subsystem that keeps the structure in the desired position, the space vehicle manoeuvre device adapters and the horizontal lifting adaptor. In this regard, Poland is expanding its expertise and taking one step further towards building its own satellites.

The tasks carried out by SENER for the Euclid space probe are advancing at a good rhythm, as demonstrated by the progress in manufacturing, and in testing the mechanical ground support equipment (MGSE), which is being developed in the company's Polish facilities.

Manufacturing MGSE and assembling satellites are a huge engineering feat, as each satellite is practically unique in its class. These structures weigh between hundreds of kilograms and several tonnes, and are made of thousands of pieces and kilometres of cables. There are very few companies in Europe who are able to design specialised satellite integration equipment.

 "SENER is the only company in the country that has a range of equipment with these characteristics. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is a work of art in aerospace engineering", says Kamil Grassman, SENER’s Project Manager in Poland.

The company has been selected for this project by Thales Alenia Space Italy, the main contractor of the space mission, in cooperation with a network of experienced Polish partners. At this time, the majority of the equipment is in Italy, where the probe will soon be launched.

The objective of the European Space Agency with the Euclid mission is to investigate the causes of the universe's accelerated expansion. The answer to this question will be offered by the research tools of the Euclid probe, which will allow us to observe an image of the universe from ten billion years ago.

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