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, such as aerospace. 

HiRel temperature sensors

IST AG is currently 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 adaptations 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 importantly, 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.

ESCC-qualified Hi-Rel Temperature Sensors with extended wires

HiRel Space Sensor with pigtail extensions
The space adventure continues

We now not only offer the only HiRel ESCC-certified thin-film platinum temperature sensors but also received the ESCC qualification for their wire extensions.

The HiRel Pt temperature sensors are available with a resistance of 100 Ω to 2000 Ω, within temperature ranges of -50 °C to +150 °C or -200 °C to +200 °C, with platinum leads only, or with twisted 2-core or 4-core extension cables beginning from 100 mm up to several meters in length, with or without shield and jacket.

All sensors are available both as flight models (FM) and engineering models (EM). The general ESCC specification No. 4006/015 applies. Details about the different sensor variants can be found in the ESCC Qualified Parts List (QPL).

    Space sensor configuration

    Space sensor configuration
    Choose the fitting HiRel RTD

    The sensors are now available with extension cables in desired lenghts up to 10,000 mm with following configurations:

    • with platinum leads only
    • with twisted 2-core extension wires
    • with twisted 4-core extension cables
    • with or without shield and jacket

    Rosetta, Euclid, JUICE, ExoMars, PLATO, FLEX or Solar Orbiter. Other launches with IST-sensors on board are already planned.

    Space missions with IST-sensors

    Putting the sensor through its paces

    Putting the sensor through its paces

     

    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: 2.2 x 2.0 x 1.1 mm), the light weight and the robustness due to the lack of moving parts.

    Benefits of using  ESCC qualified parts

    • The ESCC system is internationally recognized, so use of QPL parts allows for simpler approval in space projects
    • ESCC QPL/QL parts are preferred parts in ESA programs
    • The parts have been evaluated for reliability for space applications
    • Their technologies, design and manufacturing processes are well defined and controlled
    • The manufacturer's supply chains have been audited by the ESCC Executive

     

    Source: ESCC Executive Document ESCC/GRP/001

    Product webinar: ESCC-qualified PT Temperature Sensors for space applications

    ESCC-qualified PT Temperature Sensors for space applications

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