Engineering 101

Flexible cables head into outer space

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Custom-designed, flexible cables from Intelliconnect (Europe) have been successfully launched into space as part of VESTA-1, a 3U nanosatellite technology demonstration mission. VESTA-1 was manufactured for Honeywell under funding from the UK Space Agency.

Intelliconnect’s customer, Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL), launched the satellite into a “575km sun-synchronous orbit as part of Spaceflight’s SSO-A SmallSat Express Mission” from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on board the Falcon 9.

The purpose of the mission is to test a two-way VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) payload. This VDES has been developed by Honeywell Aerospace UK and aims to increase connectivity into remote maritime locations beyond phone networks as well as broader remote communication systems.

The brief provided by SSTL required Intelliconnect to manufacture a number of specific cables suitable for use in outer-space. Intelliconnect’s design team worked closely with SSTL engineers to define their design and manufacturing and to provide flexible cables suitable for the environmental conditions found in space.

“Our design team used all of their technical skills and experience to propose suitable materials and manufacturing processes for this application” Comments Roy Phillips, Managing Director of Intelliconnect.” Our outstanding on-time delivery record ensured we could meet a time-critical delivery schedule that adhered to the testing and launch needs of the satellite.”

Source Intelliconnect

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