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Integration of New Sensors Into Space Vehicles

[+] Author Affiliations
Pedro J. Medelius

ASRC Aerospace Corporation, Kennedy Space Center, FL

Dave Bartine

NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL

Paper No. CANEUS2006-11067, pp. 65-68; 4 pages
  • CANEUS 2006: MNT for Aerospace Applications
  • CANEUS2006: MNT for Aerospace Applications
  • Toulouse, France, August 27–September 1, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4254-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3787-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


For the successful integration of new sensors into space vehicles, it is necessary to establish early in the project a close and interactive between the technology developer and the end user. The problem to be solved and prospective solutions required from the technology developer should be clearly identified and well defined to demonstrate that the proposed technology works satisfactorily in the relevant environment and that it presents no danger or interference to existing systems. The technology provider has to remain involved with the user through installation, acceptance testing, and acclimation of the new technology. The product developer and end user must jointly perform the following functions: • Develop a detailed set of requirements: performance, physical, environmental, safety, reliability, and maintainability. • Establish the qualification process to certify the product. • Define the documentation requirements for the qualification process. • Establish a quality control process to monitor the design, fabrication, testing, and integration of the product into the vehicle or the ground support system. It is important that the performance requirements established by the user be well defined before any potential solution to a problem is considered viable. The successful integration of micro- and nanotechnology into space vehicles requires a coordinated effort throughout the design, development, installation, and integration processes. The selection of materials for sensors and associated instrumentation is critical because certain materials can cause hazards in the space environment that are not apparent in the ground environment. Materials should be selected early, and their use approved by the user. The safety community should be involved early in the design process, even during the conceptual design phase. Certification and safety problems that are often found late in the design cycle can be avoided easily and less expensively if they are addressed early in the process. Flight and ground operations personnel should also contribute to the design process since they are the people who will be installing sensors and instrumentation, as well as operating the systems. They understand the vehicle and support systems that will be required to support the installation and operation of new systems.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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