Star Tracker Bracket - The Challenge

Turkish Aerospace has become Turkey's center of technology in design, development, modernization, manufacturing, integration, and life cycle support of integrated aerospace systems, from fixed and rotary wing air platforms to UAVs and satellites. An important part of such a satellite is the so-called "star tracker bracket" which holds an optical device for controlling and steering the exact position of a satellite in orbit. Currently, such a bracket consists of 380 single parts and is heavy and complex. The redesign features a weight reduction of 50% as well as an enormous reduction in component complexity from 380 to a single part. In this project, an innovative design and manufacturing solution for a new and better star tracker bracket is sought to guarantee a safe launch and reliable positioning of the satellite in orbit for many years.

Star Tracker Bracket - The Challenge
Star Tracker Bracket - The FIT Solution

Star Tracker Bracket - The FIT Solution

Rapid Prototyping as part of an ADM-Q project (production of end-use parts)

Feasibility check
Result: Considering the very hard requirements of a rocket launch (e.g. 20G acceleration force in all directions) and according to the European standards and guidelines for the aerospace industry, additive manufacturing of the star tracker bracket is feasible, but a redesign to reduce the weight and to optimize the cooling system is necessary.

Feasibility study
- Currently recommended material: Aluminum
- Currently recommended technology: Laser melting (LM or PBF-LB/M)

Rapid prototyping
Additive manufacturing of the bracket with our quality-approved AM process for laser melting (LM or PBF-LB/M)

Finishing
- Support removal
- Blasting
- CNC milling

Quality assurance
- CT scan after blasting
- GOM scan after CNC milling
- Measurement and control of tensile tests and density cubes

Next step:
ADM-E project

Additively optimized redesign of the component


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