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OHB initiatives in development of additive manufacturing technology for opto-mechanical and mechatronic space systems

: Thiel, Markus; Senese, Samuel; Sedlmaier, Thomas; Redlich, Daniel; Mulser, Marco; Veen, Egbert Jan van deer; Pambaguian, Laurent; Rodrigues, Goncalo; Zaltron, Paolo; Brinkers, Sanneke; Aumund-Kopp, Claus; Klein, Sebastian; Domagala, Tim; Kwast, Sander; McLoughlin, Anthony; Eick, Matthias; Melzer, Christian; Brückner, Frank; Ricardo, J.; Barroqueiro, Bruno

International Astronautical Federation:
International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2018. Proceedings : Bremen, Germany 1 - 5 October 2018
Paris: International Astronautical Federation, 2018
ISSN: 0074-1795
Art. 147415, 15 S.
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) <69, 2018, Bremen>
Fraunhofer IWS ()
Additive manufacturing; Advanced manufacturing; Mechanism; Mechatronics; Opto-mechanics; Selective laser melting

Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology has shown impressive new opportunities and convincing results over the last years, mainly in terrestrial applications. Today, it has proven to represent a completely new approach to shape complex mechanical parts, with enormous potential for optimization of dedicated parameters. Numerous possibilities shine up for the aerospace industry, among others, and let engineers dream of mechanical parts which only some years ago looked like science fiction. OHB System has been involved in the development of Additive Manufacturing since more than five years via several ESA studies, DLR-funded projects and by significant internal R&D activities. These projects and studies have convinced us of the potential of AM for future satellite platforms, instruments and payloads. A new dimension of freedom in generating shapes and geometries is opened, offering more flexibility for optimizing the parts and components according to functional and performance requirements. On the other hand, the efforts of qualifying an AM part to flight worthiness are significantly higher than for conventional manufacturing technologies, taking into account all the required aspects of material and production process control, inspection and testing. A concise trade-off has to be performed for each potential use case to find out whether these high efforts and resulting costs are justified by the benefits of the new technology in terms of e.g. light weighting, ease of integration and performance improvement. The paper will introduce the OHB AM roadmap, which has been developed jointly by OHB experts from both sites in Bremen and Oberpfaffenhofen, following in-depth analysis of the potential impact of the technology on space systems. It will furthermore provide an overview of applications where AM is expected to offer extraordinary opportunities. Among these 'high-potential' applications are the two following topics: • opto-mechanical assemblies (isostatic structures, optical mounts) and • mechatronic systems (compliant mechanisms or integrated smart structures). The paper will report on the objectives and work logic of ongoing studies in these specific topics and provide intermediate results.