Developments for Space

Bringing a scientific instrument onto a space mission and into space is a long and complex process. We can assist you already with the initial steps, when you might have an idea for a scientific core question, an instrument idea, or maybe already a full mission proposal. In these early phases we can provide you the following:

  • Proposal assistance: Together with you we can develop ideas, how your scientific questions can be solved by an new instrument in space. We analyze any given mission scenario in detail to make your proposal consistent with all requirements and boundary conditions. We will try hard to make your proposal a winning proposal.
  • Phase-A studies: We assess the technical feasibility of a scientific instrument within the given mission scenario. We assess alternative instrument concepts that you or we might have developed, to find the optimum approach. We develop the instrument concept in detail, providing block diagrams of the overall system, mass and power budgets...
  • Phase-B developments, analysis, and breadboarding of complex space systems.

The following example projects illustrate our experience in space instruments prototyping and related instrumentation.

The Video ADC Test System (VATSY) is a product by vH&S, which allows to measure the key performance parameters of video analog/digital converters (ADC) with very high precision. The system has been optimized particularly for the new rad-hard video ADCs of type VASP (VASP-PROTO, VASP1, VASP2) from Thales-Alenia France, which are used in space instrumentation (earth observation etc.).


SELOK thumbnailIn the framework of the DLR project SELOK (Self Localisation on Planetary Surfaces) a prototype of a low power, low mass 2 dimensional LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system has been developed. Target application is scanning of the surrounding area for the navigation and localization of autonomous rovers. The system features very fast aquisition times and a large angular coverage. Measurement speed can be traded against accuracy and vice versa by user command.

mimos 2a sensor head thumbnailThe miniaturized Moessbauer Spectrometer MIMOS-2A is part of the scientific payload onboard the ESA Exomars Mars Rover under primary investigation at University of Mainz. At vH&S a new Xray- and Gamma detector readout electronics is designed and built for engineering and flight models. Purpose of the instrument is the in-situ analysis of the mineralogical and elementary composition of Martian surface rocks and soil. The Sensor makes use of eight high resolution Silicon Drift Detectors, providing extremely high Xray energy resolution and signal to noise ratio.

bela tpp thumbnailOne major part in the model payload for ESAs BepiColombo mission to planet mercury is the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) for the characterisation of the topology of the planets surface. For a European space mission, this is a new technology. The concept of the BELA instrument is based upon the classical altimeter approach of a direct detection of travel time of a high energy laser pulse from the orbiter towards the planets surface and back.

kaiser minco thumbnail The thermally actuated, hermetic single-shot valve was originally developed for the Mars Organic Molecule Analyser (MOMA) space instrument, part of the ExoMars rover payload. It has the ability to withstand the temperature of the dry heat sterilisation process within the ExoMars mission.