Sensors that are used in space have to fulfill a number of special characteristics that qualify them for space missions. Innovative Sensor Technology IST AG offers ESCC (European Space Components Coordination) qualified thin-film Pt temperature sensors, applicable from -200 ° C to +200 ° C. The qualified sensor series completed four years of evaluation and qualification tests, before it got the certificate from the European Space Agency (ESA). The certified sensors are also suitable for other High Reliability (Hi-Rel) applications, e.g. in aerospace or automotive.
The completed tests show, that the sensors are suitable for space applications. They provide stable measuring results at 70,000 cycles from -200 ° C to +200 ° C, which proves that the sensors are resistant against thermal cycles. Also, the temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) experienced only irrelevant changes during the tests and the sensors proved to be very drift-stable. Further advantages of the sensors are the small size (L x W x H: 2.3 x 2.0 x 1.1 mm), the light weight and the robustness due to the lack of moving parts.
At the moment, IST AG is the only supplier providing ESCC qualified Pt temperature sensors. The RTD’s are available with different resistances ranging from Pt100 to Pt2000. They can be used in a temperature range from -200 ° C to +200 ° C and are classified as tolerance class B (IEC 60751 F0.3). The temperature sensors are available both as Engineering Model (EM) or as Flight Model (FM). We also offer customization of the sensors, e.g. extended wires (with an ESCC qualified wire).
Compared to traditionally used wire-wound sensors, thin-film sensors show various advantages. Most important, they offer less vulnerable surface that can be damaged when the sensor is exposed to constant thermal cycles and occasional vibrations. The risk of failures is a lot bigger for wire-wound sensors than for thin-film sensors. The thin-film technique, where the platinum resistance structure is firmly connected to the ceramic surface of the sensor, makes the sensor very robust and suitable for applications with frequent temperature fluctuations and vibrations.
IST AG sensors have been used for space missions for a while. A few examples are: Rosetta, Euclid, JUICE, ExoMars, PLATO, or FLEX. Other launches with IST AG sensors on board, e.g. Solar Orbiter, are already planned. For more information about the history of IST AG in space industry, please read our news:
- News: IST AG obtains ESCC Qualification for Temperature Sensors
- Focus Article: Temperature Sensors in Deep Space
Details about the different sensor variants can be found in the ESCC Qualified Parts List (QPL). The general ESCC specification No. 4006 for temperature resistors as well as for the sensors of the IST AG in particular the detail specification No. 4006/015 applies.
For questions or requests regarding our “space sensors” please contact Mr. Omar Sacchet ([email protected]).