By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by following this link.  OK  Find out more


The European Space Agency in the service of aviation MRO

Léo Barnier
28/11/2019 | 333 words
The European Space Agency in the service of aviation MRO
© ESA / P. de Maagt
Aircraft maintenance is not an area that we generally associated with the space sector. And yet, the European Space Agency (ESA) has shown that it can be useful in this field, or at least its facilities can. It welcomed Specto Aerospace into its European Space Technology Centre (ESTEC) at Noordwijk, in the Netherlands. The Dutch company, which specialises in composite repair, was able to test an Airbus A340 radome in ESA's HERTZ (Hybrid European Radio frequency and antenna Test Zone) anechoic chamber.

The size of the ESA's chamber enabled the two metre in diameter radome to be accommodated without difficulty. Specto Aerospace was then able to validate the equipment's electromagnetic behaviour following its structural damage repair. The MRO company told us that this is compulsory process before the equipment can be returned to service.

The radome's repairs can actually affect the operation of the plane's weather radar, as Eric Van Der Houwen, ESA antenna engineer, explains: "Sometimes a repaired radome can look good but might not perform so well in RF terms. It might be that the radome structure is absorbing too much RF energy, or triggering signal reflections or interactions that alter the shape of what should be a forward-looking signal. In this particular case, this radome requires a 'side lobe level test' - checking its sideways emissions".

"ESA is one of our reliable partners for specific aircraft parts testing", says Jeroen Mast, managing director of Specto. "Our in-house test facility is able to perform the standard transmission efficiency tests for aircraft radomes, with ESA's anechoic test facilities offering a valuable add-on to our services".

This type of operation is still rare and of course is not a priority for the European Space Agency. Eric Van Der Houwen freely admits: "We had a rare gap in our test schedule and were able to accommodate a commercial customer". All the tests on the Specto Aerospace A340 radome were carried out over one day.
Léo Barnier
Specialized journalist
Industry & Technology, Equipments, MRO

They made this section possible
14:18 CET SpaceX in 'perfect' test of Crew Dragon emergency abort system
16/01 Safran Landing Systems wins a new MRO contract for easyJet's A320 family fleet
16/01 Airbus A350: first Trent XWB engine serviced and delivered back by N3
16/01 LATAM group also to use Donecle's drones for its cell inspections
16/01 Delta TechOps seeks to double its turnover within five years
16/01 SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A320neo fleet to be fully maintained by Magnetic MRO
13 JAN 2020
GAMECO Qingyuan Branch completed the first in-house overhaul of a 777-200 landing gear set. It was delivered back to CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES. The Guangzhou-based airline operates a total of 27 Boeing 777 aircraft and the expected landing gear overhaul business volume for GAMECO is important. The stand-alone landing gear maintenance center of GAMECO obtained the CAAC and FAA license for this type of landing gear last year.
10 JAN 2020
DASSAULT AVIATION will hold seven Falcon Maintenance & Operations (M&O) seminars in April and May in France, the United States, Mexico and Brazil, and a further one in China in October. In addition to the traditional technical briefings and the presentation of Dassault's latest products and services, Jean Kayanakis, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Customer Service and Service Center Network, will provide an update on the expansion of the service center network with TAG Maintenance Services and ExecuJet MRO Services.
12 DEC 2019
PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA and INDύSTRIA DE AVIACAO E SERVICOS (IAS) opened an overhaul centre in Belo Horizonte, which will specialize in the maintenance of the PT6A and PW200 engines, the manufacturer's designated maintenance facilities (DMFs) in the country, all integrated within two years to meet the rapidly growing Brazilian demand for these two engine families (1,300 equipped aircraft).
09 DEC 2019
SR TECHNICS announced an extension of its partnership with GMF AEROASIA covering component services for Garuda Indonesia's fleet of Airbus A330NEO and A330ceo aircraft. This Integrated Component Services (ICS) contract, effective since November 1, will be provided by the SR TECHNICS Center of Excellence for component maintenance in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
09 DEC 2019
PRATT & WHITNEY announced a USD 30 million investment in its engine services facility in Bridgeport, West Virginia for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of PW800 engines. Specifically, the site will service the market leading PW814GA and PW815GA engines that power the Gulfstream G500 and G600 aircraft, respectively, with the capacity to expand its capabilities to other PW800 engine models in the future.
ALERTAVIA, the News platform for Aerospace and Defense industry Professionals.

Featured Content
AFI KLM E&M steps up a gear on CFM's LEAP
Sabena technics finally gets back on-board C-130Hs
Airbus and Thai Airways to launch a new joint venture MRO facility at U-Tapao
How Thai Airways will Expand Rolls-Royce's Trent Engine Service Network
China embarks on board aircraft recycling
Follow us
© 2020 Le Journal de l'Aviation - All rights reserved