Business Case « aerospace » : One Web project

The objective assigned to CAO Concept by its client was to design electronic boards that met all the ECSS (European Cooperation for Space Standardisation) standards for space. A challenge successfully met.

The British project OneWeb concerns the placing of a network of about 600 satellites in low orbit with a view to providing high-speed Internet access to global locations not served by terrestrial links. Starlink, led by Elon Musk, and Kuiper (Jeff Bezos), which is less advanced, are the competitors. The French company Eutelsat has recently taken a 24% stake in the project.

The major challenge for CAO Concept was to take into account, from the very beginning of the project, the set of ECSS standards (European Cooperation for Space Standardisation) which are the law in the realm of space. They are divided into four distinct branches for a total of about twenty sub-disciplines:

  • Project management
  • Product insurance
  • System engineering
  • Sustainable development of space

CAO Concept’s expertise in terms of design of digital maps to ECSS standards and integration of DFM rules

In this context, 100% framed and binding, CAO Concept worked on the design of an embedded unit, integrating digital, analogue and power control boards.

  • The first step was to define the technological characteristics of the printed circuit boards, incorporating ECSS-qualified footprints in order to guarantee space-level soldering quality.
  • The second area of work, the key focus of attention, concerned the contact zones with multiple recoveries to promote heat dissipation at the electronic card level (in the vacuum of space, component heat dissipates via the metal of the frame).
  • The third notable element was the integration of DFM rules from the outset (a failure cannot be repaired once the satellite has been launched… whilst the conditions of use, temperature and vibrations, are extreme): this control of manufacturability rules was carried out in partnership with the prime contractor, an industrial expert and international reference in the sector.

Each card was then subjected to a complete qualification process to detect the slightest defect prior to installation. Another mission accomplished by CAO Concept, which mobilised all of its expertise and skills for this OneWeb project.

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