Local companies APC Technologies and Fleet Space Technologies have joined forces to complete NASA-standard vibration testing for space flight models.

Fleet’s Centauri 6, 7 and 8 flight models, as well as a back up model, were tested in compliance with the NASA-GEVS standards at APC’s Hindmarsh facilities. The tests simulate the vibrations equipment may experience during ground transportation through to its launch in space.

As part of this process, resonance search, random vibration, sine vibration and quasi-static load tests were conducted before the models underwent visual comparisons to structural models to understand the impact of the vibrations on the design.

This was followed by function, performance and self-tests to ensure the payload and electronics were still performing at the required levels, before placing the payload into a thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC) to continue environmental testing.

CEO and co-founder of Fleet Space Technologies, Flavia Tata Nardini, said being launch-ready requires rigorous testing to high standards, and it is exciting that this can now be done locally.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Australia’s growing space industry and we are delighted to collaborate with an ever-expanding ecosystem of world class technical partners,” Ms Tata Nardini said.

“APC Technology has taken an existing in-house capability and expanded their skills and knowledge to be able to support companies like Fleet to access services locally.

“Testing our payloads at APC has made our ability to deliver on growing demand for universal connectivity with accuracy and efficiency.”

Managing Director or APC, Scott Begbie, explained the company is continually looking for growth opportunities and are committed to becoming a partner of choice for space companies.

“We have upskilled our engineers, manufacturing technicians, and invested in infrastructure to serve the sector due to the tremendous expansion of the space industry in South Australia and the anticipated long-term growth,” said Mr Begbie.

“We have plans to expand our test capabilities in 2022 to allow businesses like Fleet to complete additional NASA-GEVS requirements in one location.”

Richard Price, Chief Executive of the South Australian Space Industry said the state is leading the way in developing innovative space technologies, capitalising on NewSpace opportunities.

“It’s fantastic to see SMEs like APC Technology expand on the services they deliver to take advantage of the significant growth we are experiencing across the defence and space sectors in the state,” said Mr Price.

“The partnership between APC Technology and Fleet is an excellent example of how successful collaboration between local industry is helping deliver game-changing space testing technology and enhancing our state’s space capabilities from design, to launch, and beyond.”