SMART-1 structural model takes shape
18 March 2001Last week marked the start of the integration campaign for ESA's SMART-1 mission. On 13 March, SMART-1 began to take shape as assembly of the structural model (STM) began at the APCO integration facility in Vevey, Switzerland.
The structure of SMART-1 is built around an aluminium sandwich central cone, which supports decks and panels on which equipment will be mounted. Only aluminium alloys are used for face-sheets, honeycomb cores, struts and secondary structures. The mass of the structure is 45 kg, while the complete SMART-1 spacecraft will weigh about 350 kg. Of this, 72 kg is Xenon propellant which is required for the long trip to the Moon.
The SMART-1 structure implements a novel design which allows easy opening of the panels during the satellite integration. Along the edges, brackets can be attached to the panels allowing not only hoisting of the structure in any position but also the attachment of hinges. This means that panels can be opened just like a conventional door, improving access to the units during integration. This design is strong enough to support the opening of two panels at any time, even when the structure is fully loaded with the attached equipment.
SMART-1's structural model will be shipped to Saab-Ericsson-Space, in Linköping, Sweden, by the end of March where they will proceed with the integration of the complete spacecraft structural model. This model will then undergo qualification testing at ESTEC, starting in June 2001.
The Swedish Space Corporation, as prime contractor for the SMART-1 mission, is responsible for the development and construction of the SMART-1 spacecraft.