Latest News

22/03/2018 Integration and tests at IABG: two major HPS space projects hitting the home stretch
Inside the facilities of Europe´s highly renowned IABG-Space Test Centre in Munich these weeks, in March 2018, the logo of HPS is almost everywhere. With HPS GmbH and HPS Lda. two out of three sites of the European specialist for space subsystems are running simultaneously integration and testing campaigns to qualify their contributions for two major European space projects: the EUCLID mission and the strategically important development of an extremely precise large antenna reflector made in Europe. EUCLID is an ESA mission to map the geometry of the Dark Universe. The mission will investigate the distance-redshift relationship and the evolution of cosmic structures by measuring shapes and redshifts of galaxies and clusters of galaxies out to redshifts ~2, or equivalently to a look-back time of 10 billion years. In order to perform this job, that has never been done before in space, HPS Lda. in Portugal has been assigned by the German SME SpaceTech GmbH (STI) one of the mission´s challenging task to develop, produce and integrate highly efficient MLI for the thermal insulation of spacecraft´s 4 m tall sunshield (EUCLID SSH). In addition, in order to enable a fluent assembly process of the whole sunshield, the responsible team of HPS Lda. has developed a reliable MGSE, an "Integration and Turning Stand" that allows turning the sunshield 180 degrees and, later also the integration of the solar arrays. In total, the HPS-Group holds six contracts for special contrubutions to ESA´s huge EUCLID project. Among others and besides the MLI-part for the sunshield, the Ka-band antenna reflector assembly (EUCLID-ARA) has been contracted to HPS GmbH; the Qualification Model is currently in the final assembly process. At the same time at HPS´ long standing partner IABG´s facilities outbaking-, thermal cycling-, thermo-elastic deformation-, vibration-, and acoustic-tests are under way for the newly developed 2,4 m Q/V-band reflector of HPS GmbH on behalf of ESA. The project was launched in 2014, based on a history of that specific HPS-technology reaching back to beginnings in 2003. The design was developed by HPS, the manufacturing and assembly is performed together with its 10% shareholder, INVENT GmbH. Among the outstanding and innovative features of the reflector are an extremely well balanced relationship of weight and eigenfrequency, very little deformation tolerance in space, applicable for "big data"-projects in New Space, the business field of the future in space. While the current testing and integration processes at IABG will be finished by April, a row of several new projects -some of them in the range of multimillion Euro-budgets- are waiting for the teams when they return to their premises in Porto and Munich. To mention just three: MLIs for ESA-missions on instrument- and satellite-levels, the new Ka-band antenna for the Heinrich-Hertz mission (contracted by TESAT on behalf of the customer OHB and DLR), and a large deployable sail module for de-orbiting of satellites after its life-time.

EUCLID artist impression. Copyright: ESA


HIDAN testing at IABG

15/02/2018 DORA-Spaceborne Doppler Radar Concept to drive European leadership in climate monitoring - Innovation by HPS GmbH and HPS Lda. on demand of ESA

DORA breadboard. Copyright: HPS Lda.

One of the most fundamental preconditions to understand climate change is the provision of reliable precision data about the behavior of factors affecting and influencing climate and weather phenomena. For meteorologists and climate researchers wind is one of those most decisive factors - however, even after more than a century of professional and scientific studies executed from positions on the ground and airborne among others one question still needs to be answered: do winds follow the logic of a certain "structure" underlying this phenomenon, and how can that "structure" be described? Systematic research may well lead not only to a better theoretical understanding, but also to practical solutions towards the predictability of impacts that directly concern safety and well-being of humans on the ground, on the water and in the air.
The European long-term lighthouse program in space called Copernicus foresees a huge number of missions dedicated to finding answers on those questions from space. One of potential future missions named CIMR foresees the use of a rotating 8 meters deployable reflector subsystem, for which currently ESA is requesting proposals for a Phase A/B1. Another advanced potential mission concept needs a 3 meters rotating shell reflector cluster subsystem measuring winds in cloudy regions with 50 km horizontal and 1 km vertical resolution on a swath width greater than 800 km. Before even planning a mission like that a completely new technology is needed. The pre-development has been entrusted to HPS (in Germany and, for the breadboard in Portugal) back in 2015. Within time and budgetlines, HPS successfully came up with a solution of a conically scanning Doppler radar with the following characteristics: -Polarization diversity -Pulse compression (for higher resolutions of targets) -Frequency "hopping" (jumping from one frequency to another 94 GHz +/- 0,25 GHz).
The design of the new conical scanning antenna is compatible with the fairing of Europe´s lightweight-launcher VEGA. The 3 meters antenna is to rotate on top of the satellites at the speed of one round every 5 seconds and all electro-magnetic waves are focused in a 2 mm diameter wave-guide entry. Most critical section of the subsystem is the subassembly of two secondary reflectors and rotating tiny feeds in W-band. Therefore ESA agreed for a breadboard concept architectured by HPS GmbH, designed in detail, manufactured and assembled by HPS Lda. and tested at DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen. The results: -The accuracy (around 10 µm RMS) of the free space part of the breadboard has been reached by HPS Lda. -The proposed antenna system is fully compliant with the system requirements -The RF tests on the breadboard have given very good results -Cooperation among all partners, especially those involved in the breadboarding activity has been excellent. The whole team responsible for the latest technological breakthrough of Europe consisted of: -HPS GmbH as Prime -Thales Alenia France as LSI for system inputs and instrument specification -University of Leicester for the science part -HPS Lda. for breadboard/strcuture assembly as main subcontractor with the largest portion of the budget -SWISSto12 for RF parts in 3D printing technology. Europe´s ambitious Copernicus program constantly needs innovations and even disruptive developments to reach its goals. HPS in Germany and in Portugal has become one of the principal suppliers of technological breakthroughs on demand. © University of Leicester (Mission Animation); .

DORA breadboard. Copyright: HPS Lda.

DORA mission animation. Copyright: University of Leicester

16/01/2018 Copernicus Sentinel-4: Europe´s lighthouse project in space takes shape HPS Lda. ready now for manufacturing the original Flight Model´s insulation (MLI)

MTG artist impression. Copyright: OHB

Based on a budget of nearly seven billion euros Copernicus is one of the three most ambitious and advanced space programmes orchestrated by the European Commission (EC). Sentinel-4 is one of the cornerstones to this programme. It consists of two payloads to be launched on Europe´s third generation of Meteosat series of satellites with a clear mission: observing the Earth with special focus on climate and climate change monitoring. At the heart of the new Copernicus technology is an optical state-of-the-art camera operating in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared spectrum. Engineering and design of the payload are under way since 2013. At that time Europe´s industrial prime Airbus Defence & Space (Germany) alongside its subcontractor OHB (Munich, Germany) selected HPS (Munich, Germany and Porto, Portugal) as one of the leading experts for multilayer insulation (MLI) in an open Europe-wide competition under best practices-criteria; HPS is specialized on and perfectly equipped for design and production of extremely clean MLIs for optical space instruments.
The contract covers two complete sets of Flight Models of MLI for the Copernicus satellite, including almost one hundred blankets in each set at sizes ranging from 5 cm x 5 cm to larger than 1 m x 1 m. The qualification model had been delivered to OHB already in summer 2017, so that there is now the green light for the expert-team of HPS in Portugal to start manufacturing of the original Flight Models. They will be delivered to OHB in summer 2018.
Besides managing the steadily growing demand for top quality MLI, HPS has been selected lately as the leader of a European consortium for design, engineering, and manufacturing of one of the most urgently needed new European space technologies, the deployable large European space antenna (LEA). This contract in the frame of H2020 program of the EC alone has a budget volume of five million euros. Along with the steadily increasing demand for MLI made in Portugal, HPS Lda. is currently expanding its workforce in the area of highly qualified Portuguese engineers and technicians by twenty percent.

STM MLI during manufacturing at HPS Lda. in 2017. Copyright: HPS Lda.

S4 Instrument (STM), with MLI, during vibration test at IABG in 2017. Copyright: HPS GmbH

15/05/2017 C3Harme reached a new milestone. HPS Lda. is partner in this European project and responsible for prototypes manufacturing


Link for additional information on the Project's website

19/10/2016 ExoMars: A chegada a Marte!
A HPS Lda., sedeada no Porto, celebra esta quarta-feira dia 19 de Outubro 2016, a chegada a Marte da missao ExoMars. A HPS Lda. desenvolveu, produziu e integrou as proteções térmicas do módulo que pousou em Marte.
A HPS Lda. foi a responsável pelo desenvolvimento da parte térmica do Schiaparelli, módulo que chegou à superfície do planeta Marte. Iniciou este projeto em 2012 tendo participado em todas as fases do projeto, desde o desenho preliminar passando pelos testes de qualificação até à integração do hardware no satélite. Foram necessárias várias horas de desenvolvimento e testes para assegurar os exigentes ambientes da missão. Nesta missão foi necessário assegurar que os vários equipamentos estavam protegidos das temperaturas muito baixas durante a viagem Terra-Marte, bem como das muito altas durante a entrada no planeta Marte. Por ser uma missão que chega ao solo de outro planeta foram necessárias precauções extremas para não haver contaminação biológica da Terra em Marte. Por isso, todas as proteções térmicas foram produzidas na sala limpa da HPS Lda. em níveis elevadíssimos de limpeza e foram sujeitos a esterilização. O lançamento foi feito com sucesso no dia 14 de Março e a viagem durou cerca de 7 meses. A indústria europeia chega agora pela primeira vez a Marte com o importante contributo tecnológico da HPS Lda.

Press Release

Copyright: ESA

14/03/2016 ExoMars: Launch is scheduled!
The Countdown is on: Exomars on its Way through Deep Space to reach and land on Mars in 5,296 hours.
Guarded by its Multilayer Insulation made by HPS Lda. the European landing demonstrator Schiaparelli will reach and enter the hostile Martian atmosphere at a speed of 21,000 km/h by October 19th this year, after 269 days or 5,296 hours of flight through the galaxy after a perfect launch on March 14th.

ExoMars 2016's Trace Gas Orbiter and the lander Schiaparelli shortly before rocket fairing capsulation in Baikonour

Copyright: ESA

Launch of the Proton-M rocket carrying ExoMars 2016 at Baikonour Cosmodrome on 14th of March 2016

Copyright: ESA

Artist impression of ExoMars at fairing separation after launch

Copyright: ESA

10/03/2016 ExoMars: Launch is scheduled!
The launch of ExoMars has been scheduled for 09:31 GMT (10:31 CET) on 14 March with first acquisition of signal expected at around 21:29 GMT (22:29 CET)!
HPS Lda. is very proud to be part of this endeavour, with the design, development, testing, manufacturing and integration of the MLI on the EDM - Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module or simply Schiaparelli - which will land on Mars! Payloads on TGO - Trace Gas Orbiter - have also been featured with MLI provided by HPS Lda., namely the spectrometer NOMAD (Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery) and the instrument CaSSIS (Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System).
The MLI is one of the critical subsystem that will protect the spacecraft up to the Mars entry, from the harsh conditions.

27/11/2015 Ready for Mission to Mars: ExoMars Orbiter and Lander Shiaparelli Shipping to Launch Site
Critical Thermal Protection made by Europe´s MLI-expert HPS in Portugal and Germany
Scientists, media and other VIP´s from Europe´s space sector took the last chance on November 25th in Cannes to have a look at ESA´s latest exploration technology before it lands on Mars in October, 2016: Schiaparelli - an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module - is a technology-testing vehicle carried by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter to demonstrate the capability of European industry to perform a controlled landing on the surface of Mars. The preparation for this mission enhances Europe’s expertise and enables the testing of key technologies which could be used in subsequent missions to Mars.
Although designed to demonstrate entry, descent and landing technologies, Schiaparelli offers a science package that will operate on the surface of Mars for a short duration after landing, planned to last approximately 2-4 sols (martian days).
Schiaparelli will be protected during its decend to Mars at a speed of 21,000 km/h as well as during its operations on the surface against all thermal impacts by a multilayer insulation designed, developed and manufactured by the Portugese space company HPS Lda. "Thermal protection is one of the critical components that decide about success or failure of any space mission. However, with Schiaparelli it opens yet another dimension of human space exploration, since this spacecraft has the task to verify technologies for the generations of unmanned and finally human missions to land on Mars in future", said Ernst K. Pfeiffer, CEO of HPS. "In addition, my teams in Germany and Portugal have developed also the thermal protection for this mission´s scientific instruments CASSIS and NOMAD. All HPS employees in Germany and Portugal are extremely proud to serve as Europe´s selected thermal protection specialists in space, to have soon more than 10 kg hardware on Martian surface and to play with this a vital part in man´s historic pathfinding mission to other planets.

Copyright: ESA

22/10/2015 EUCLID SVM/PLM
We are proud to announce that HPS Lda. was selected by AIRBUS NL for the manufacturing of EUCLID PLM Struts and, for the design and manufacturing of NISP Radiator, PLM/SVM Bipods and VI-FPA-ES Bipods and monopods VIS MLI.

30/06/2015 ExoMars 2016 Mission
HPS Lda. is proud to announce that the integration of MLI on EDM lander is finished. The launch is schedule for March 2016 and the HPS team is very enthusiastic to see it's hardware landing on Mars.

30/06/2015 LADS
We are proud to announce that HPS Lda. was selected by ESA for the execution of Phase 2 of LADS (Large Stable Deployable Structures for Future Science Mission) project.

31/03/2015 EUCLID SSH
HPS Lda. had started recently another thermal hardware development. HPS is in charge of EUCLID SSH thermal hardware design, definition, production and integration.

31/03/2015 EUCLID SSH
High demands on space exploration requires top level engineering on earth. The Mechanical Ground Support Equipment of the EUCLID SSH is being developed and manufactured by HPS Lda., including large sized and environment protected containers, handling equipment and hoisting devices, and test adapters. We are proud to help make EUCLID mission possible!