High Gain Antenna Gimbal (HGAG) for the rover Perseverance of the Mars 2020 mission
SENER Aeroespacial has developed the Hard Capture System (HCS) for the IBDM (International Berthing and Docking Mechanism), which is the European androgynous low impact docking system that allows both large and small spacecraft to berth and dock.
SENER Aeroespacial takes part in the IBDM as part as the European consortium, developing the HCS. It is an extremely precise and complex system which has the purpose of providing a rigid connection between structures in order to allow for a pressurized passageway between two spacecraft. It also includes connections for the transfer of electrical power, data and fluids such as fuel.
The IBDM has been designed to be compatible with the International Docking System Standard (IDSS) and hence compatible with the ISS International Docking Adapters (IDA) on the US side of the International Space Station (ISS). The possibility of modifying the system to accommodate new docking standards has been taken into account during the project phase, so it has the required flexibility to allow the integration of the IBDM into different vehicles. In fact, thanks to its versatility, this system may become a standard for manned space missions in the future.
One of its potential applications is in the successor of the International Space Station, the Gateway station, whose construction, with SENER Aeroespacial participation with five different contracts, is planned for 2025. Ultimately, Gateway will be embedded in space around the Moon and will serve as a strategic point for distant space expeditions, such as a manned flight to Mars. Part of it will be the I-HAB, a habitat for astronauts arriving from Earth, developed by ESA member companies. I-HAB is expected to be equipped with the HCS system developed by SENER Aeroespacial.
The main components of the HCS developed by SENER Aeroespacial (in charge of design, implementation, integration and testing) are: