Axon’ Cable, 30 years of space expertise

17 Jul 2019

Man walked on the moon for the first time 50 years ago. This event has marked a whole generation and still makes nations and people dream. For Axon’ Cable, the Space Odyssey started in the 1990s with the development of data links for Ariane launcher. Since then, the company has gained expertise in a very demanding and rapidly evolving field. Resistance to radiation, atomic oxygen, weight saving, fast connection and integration, these are the requirements of space applications.

A real nervous system

For Axon’, the adventure started back in the 1990’s following the successful response to a tender from the Aerospatial company. A common development has given birth to data transmission interconnects which have cabled every Ariane launcher, specially designed to carry heavy payloads.  As a real nervous system, the network made with Axon’s cables ensures the transmission of information from the launcher's brain to all its systems. Ranging through from communication to the flight command or electrical power systems, all commands pass through these links. It is therefore essential that they are extremely reliable as they have to resist very severe mechanical and thermal operating conditions.

In the face of the alien threat
                
This project has enabled Axon’ Cable to acquire a large expertise in the space sector. A large number of satellites are equipped with links manufactured by the company including bus bars for power transmission, SpaceWire cables for data transmission, ESA wires for spacecraft cabling or microwave coaxial cable assemblies for radar systems. Satellites operate in an aggressive environment consisting of radiation, ultraviolet rays, orbital debris, micrometeorites and atomic oxygen (ATOX). ATOX corrosion can cause very severe damage to spacecraft exteriors orbiting at less than 1000 km altitude.  In order to face the threat, Axon’ Cable has developed wires resistant to oxygen atomic.

Space expertise and innovation

Satellites, space probes, scientific instruments and rovers, these are examples of applications for which Axon’ develops interconnect solutions. The company also meets challenges of New Space. The OneWeb megaconstellation perfectly illustrates the current trend. This ground-breaking project involves the rapid production of satellites in volume. Lightweight (less than 150 kg), these spacecraft, using an optimized number of components, need to be easy to manufacture and launch.

As a long-standing supplier to the automotive and aeronautics industries, Axon’ has been able, with this dual expertise, to offer solutions and industrial processes adapted to the project.  Miniature connectors and lightweight wires for weight saving, all-in-one harnesses with rapid assembling are only a few examples among the innovative integration solutions offered by Axon’ Cable.