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The Perfect Solution For Space Applications
Founded in 2010, AST invested in technologies and processes for highly performant and miniaturized flow control components and units for space applications.
AST’s products use fluid SMD technology to reduce system size and mass and to allow series production. Key feature of fluid SMD is the significant reduced number of welds and a quality optimized manufacturing process. All remaining welding joints are done in fully automized electron beam welding machines, providing a maximum of quality at a minimum of cost. The design for series production is unique in space business and yields significant cost savings at larger quantities as required by LEO constellations.
All AST products use components of European origin. No foreign export restrictions apply. This allows our customers to reduce administrative overhead and to secure their market shares.
Throughout development of the flow control units and pressure regulators, AST’s products have been operating with numerous types of electrical thrusters within Europe. Each coupling-test resulted in a confirmation of performance and controllability and has led to improvements which make the products mature and safe to be operated within electric propulsion system based on Hall Effect Thrusters, Gridded Ion Engines, HEMP Thrusters and others.
Over the recent years, the novel products from AST have been convincing customers within the new-space business. They became big supporters of AST and its vision to strive for innovative products that bring high performance at low prices and large production capacity.
Since 2020, AST’s products are no longer only requested by New-Space firms but also well- established space-firms with large heritage in spacecraft design and operation see the benefits of AST’s products. While lower quantities are required, the team at AST is proving that performance and quality are at a top such that highly demanding spacecrafts like ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) of the Mars Sample Return (MSR) Mission will be equipped with the high-performance products from AST.
• Continued Production of HP-FCUs for OneWeb Constellation – all flight models delivered on-time and in quality!
• Start of HP-FCU delta-qualification for Krypton Applications
• Start of Development for High-Pressure Cold Gas Thruster
• Relaunch of series production and delivery of flight hardware for OneWeb mega satellite-constellation in LEO orbit
• Start of development activities for ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter as part of the Mars Sample Return program
• Continuation of flight hardware production for OneWeb – until requested pause of production
• Enforced product developments and manufacturing process improvements through Covid-19 pandemic situation
• Start of AST’s series production for OneWeb Satellites. Launch of OneWeb Pilot Satellites
• Move from Stuhr to Osterholz-Scharmbeck. Installation at new site with 5400 sqm offices, labs and production area. Preparation of production readiness including installation of ISO 8 cleanroom and laminar flow boxes of ISO 5
• Launch of Formasat 5 mission (AST cold gas thruster)
• EM electronic pressure regulator is up and running
• First high pressure components available. Standalone components (particle filters, pressure sensors, valves) become available
• AST develops cold gas thrusters for FORMOSAT 5. Qualification to TRL 7 of the thrusters performed together with SpaceTech Immenstaad
• Development of high pressure components and an electronics pressure regulator started under support of the European Commission (FP7) in project “mPRS”
• FCU tested with different ion engines on subsystem level
• μFCU performs environmental tests and reached TRL 5
• AST moves to new site at Stuhr near Bremen
• In December 2011 the development of a miniaturized flow control unit (μFCU) started with the support of the European Comission (FP7 program) to improve Europe’s non-dependence in space. The new fluid SMD technology is born. Main goal is a significant size and cost reduction by introducing new manufacturing technologies and serial production
• AST Advanced Space Technologies GmbH has been founded by Dr. Harmann. First office was located in Lindau, Lake Constance.