ESA BIC Lens R&D: High reliability sunsensors for space and terrestrial applications

04/09/2018 3135 views 1 likes
ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Technology Transfer

ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Noordwijk start-up company Lens R&D produces high reliability sunsensors for space applications, small enough to be used on small satellites but good enough to be used on big ones as well. Meet Lens R&D at ESA's Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions at IAC 2018.

Lens Research and Development (Lens R&D) is specialized in high reliability sunsensors for space and terrestrial applications that can be cost effectively produced in larger quantities.

Lens R&D clean room
Lens R&D clean room

Founded 2012, incubated at ESA BIC Noordwijk and hosted at the Space Business Innovation Park near ESTEC in Noordwijk, the company has now grown to six people and is currently focusing on sunsensors for space applications only.

Lens R&D focuses primarily on research and design, and simplifies their production by suppliers using the latest design principles and advanced production technologies.

Fabless operation is followed to the largest extend possible based on series machining of the housings, wafer scale manufacturing of the membranes, housing integrated connectors and vision based pick-and-place assembly. Technologies developed to enable large volume terrestrial solar panel applications are now used to increase cost effectiveness for space applications.

“Our customers have come to expect reliable, cost effective and small solutions from Lens R&D, and the new developments of a sensor called IBIS is expected to bring exactly this,” says Johan Leijtens, founder, CEO and System Engineer at Lens R&D.

“Based on a single chip dedicated sensor to be developed by Systematic design b.v. the IBIS is to be a true digital sunsensor which is not affected by Earth's albedo and has a digital interface to the on-board computer.”

The space portfolio includes the passive analogue fine sunsensor BiSon64, the BiSon64-B with added baffle and reduced albedo sensitivity and the top-model BiSon 64-ET-B with extended temperature range.

The BiSon64-B have been sold to Luxspace ESAIL, SSTL Vesta/Earth-I/ELSA-D/DT-1 and ST Electronics Teleos-2 and are designed in by several other customers.

The BiSon 64-ET-B is currently undergoing qualification under ESA GSTP contract which is planned to be completed by Q2/2019.

Lens R&D will supply 20 flight and 2 flight spare units to the ESA PROBA-3 formation flying mission. The goal is to develop select and forget sunsensors that are capable enough to satisfy even the most stringent requirements, and affordable enough to be selected without punching a hole in project budgets.

Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions at IAC 2018

ESA's Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office (TTPO) with its ESA space solutions network presents 24 start-ups from Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia, 14 fostered at one of the ESA Business Incubation Centres – the ESA BICs, at the 69th International Astronautical Conference (IAC 2018) in Bremen, 1-5 October 2018.

The Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions provides a look into great examples of aerospace technology systems and services developed by start-ups with visionary goals.

At pitching sessions on 2/10 and 4/10, the start-ups will present their business ideas and the Head of ESA TTPO Frank M. Salzgeber will present the potential of re-using already existing space technologies and ESA's Intellectual Properties as well as Europe's Earth observation and navigation services by start-ups and how their solutions can improve our lives here on Earth.

World's largest ecosystem for space-related entrepreneurship

ESA’s Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Programme Office (TTPO) operates the ‘ESA space solutions’ network of Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) and Technology Transfer Brokers offering complete access to all aspects of space-related innovation, technology and intellectual properties and is a gateway to ESA and European space research and developments.

Today, there are 20 ESA BICs in 17 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and UK – forming the largest ecosystem in the world for space-related entrepreneurship.

Over 650 start-ups have been fostered and another 150 new start-ups are taken in yearly at ESA BICs to be supported under the two-years business development boosting programme.

Visit “Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions”

Meet all the start-ups from 1 October until 5 October at the dedicated Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions area at IAC 2018.

Lens R&D entrepreneurs will be at the Start-ups Zone at IAC 2018 from 1 October until 3 October noon, and be pitching their business 2 October.