Custom Solutions / Cantilevered

 Cantilevered Satellite Integration Fixture

There are cases where spacecraft integration requires an access hole thru the payload mounting interface. This access may be required for instrument integration, propulsion integration, spacecraft wiring ... etc. To provide a scale of the size of the Flotron represented in the image below, the available payload swing diameter (as measured from the rotation centerline) is Ø110" and the ID of the slew ring is approximately Ø54". This cantilevered satellite integration fixture can support high moment and radial loads considering SFy = 3 and SFu = 5 in addition to a simultaneous (horizontal and vertical) dynamic loading condition. The resultant stability (with payload integrated) is 0.75G. The payload can be rotated 360° either by hand crank or by interfacing with a socket and electric hand drill. The gear drive is self-locking and non-back-driving with minimal backlash and the index plate on the input shaft can be physically pinned. The payload mounting interface dimensions and tolerances were specified by our customer. Read more 

The finishes are compatible in a CLASS 10K clean room spacecraft manufacturing environment (no zinc, tin, or cadmium) and the lubricants were selected for compatibility. Covers were added over the geared slew ring and pinion gear to eliminate pinch points and to mitigate lubricant migration. The operator can maneuver the Rotation Fixture by the push bar or the tow bar. Forklift tube pockets have been incorporated at the rear to lift the Flotron (with the payload integrated) as well as at the side to handle the empty Flotron. The caster wheel material and geometry were specified to optimize rollability. Additional features include leg bumpers, relevant caution labels, angular indicator labels, and a storage container. Flotron fabricated a 2X proof load test simulator that represents 200% payload weight, 200% resultant moment and 100% torque. Flotron performed a proof load test with the payload simulator integrated when supported by the casters as wells as when lifted with a forklift. Weld inspection of critical welds (as defined by Flotron Engineering) was performed using an Eddy Current inspection method through the powder coat finish.

Customer Review:

The spacecraft mated to the Flotron fixture, all features were exercised to the delight of our customer and it is working excellent! Thank you again for the fine craftsmanship that your team delivered on. Read less

High Moment Capacity Cantilevered Rotation

Flotron’s customers typically interface their payload at both ends. However, there are cases where the payload has only a single mounting interface and in these cases the payload needs to be supported in a cantilevered configuration. Flotron’s Cantilevered Rotation Fixtures have been utilized for a myriad of applications including spacecraft positioning, small satellite AI&T, radar system RF testing, among others. This Aerospace Tool is designed considering that the payload CG will be located at a significant distance from the mounting interface and that there will be a high resultant moment load. The geared bearing that Flotron has selected to accommodate these high moment loads can also accommodate higher radial loads and therefore the CG of the payload can be further off of the rotational centerline and still offer ergonomic rotation for the technician. Flotron also has the capability to design and manufacture custom end effectors and tooling interface hardware to adapt to complex payload geometry.

Motorized Height Adjustment with Working Platform

In the example below, a work station provides ergonomic access for technicians to offload a solar array wing from an overhead linear guide rail system, then pivot the work station (with wing attached) 90 degrees about a floor anchor and finally offload and deploy the solar array wing onto another overhead linear guide rail system. Finishes and lubricants are compatible in an ISO 14644-1, (Class ISO 7) / FED STD 209E (Class 10,000) clean room spacecraft manufacturing environment.
In addition to providing mechanical lift systems that are actuated using an input hand crank, Flotron offers Aerospace Tools with electro-mechanical lift systems that are actuated with a pendant or control panel and have push button operation. Flotron incorporates UL approved controls and safety is considered first. There are multiple accessible safety stops, various operator presence sensing device options, limit switches, redundant braking, and audible / visual alerts among others.

Cantilevered, Motorized Rotation and Height Adjustment

The Aerospace Tool below has both electro-mechanical lift and rotation functionality. This up-ender is used to offload individual rigid solar array panels from Flotron Rotation Fixtures one at a time into a stack. The panel stack is fastened together, lifted for clearance, tilted 90 degrees and then offloaded onto an overhead linear guide rail system. Finishes and lubricants are compatible in an ISO 14644-1, (Class ISO 7) / FED STD 209E (Class 10,000) clean room spacecraft manufacturing environment.
In addition to providing mechanical lift and rotation systems that are actuated using an input hand crank, Flotron offers Aerospace Tools with electro-mechanical lift systems that are actuated with a pendant or control panel and have push button operation. Flotron incorporates UL approved controls and safety is considered first. There are multiple accessible safety stops, various operator presence sensing device options, limit switches, redundant braking, and audible / visual alerts among others.

Cantilevered, Motorized Height Adjustment with Scissor Lift

In almost all cases, Flotron's Cantilevered Aerospace Tool Designs incorporate a tower structure that the payload cantilevers from. In the example below however, we utilized an electromechanical scissor lift to fulfill a vertical lifting requirement and then sized the scissor lift appropriately to accommodate an overhung cantilevered moment load. The scissor lift has a redundant belt driven lift mechanism and does not bleed down like a hydraulic system would. A tubular aluminum weldment / payload interface structure is fastened to a pair of precision linear guide bearing rails that in turn mount to the top of the scissor lift via an adapter plate. The tubular weldment (with payload cantilevered off of one end) can be translated horizontally with a ball screw and then locked into position. The caster jacks lower the RF Test Cart / Precision Alignment Fixture so that a series of three precision alignment tooling features seat in their respective floor mounted receptacles. A precision slide is then translated at the back to pivot this Pointing Fixture (with payload integrated) and align for an RF testing application.
In addition to providing mechanical lift systems that are actuated using an input hand crank, Flotron offers Aerospace Tools with electro-mechanical lift systems that are actuated with a pendant or control panel and have push button operation. Flotron incorporates UL approved controls and safety is considered first. There are multiple accessible safety stops, various operator presence sensing device options, limit switches, redundant braking, and audible / visual alerts among others.

Thermal Cycle Compatible

This aluminum Cantilevered Fixture also functions as an RF Test Fixture, Thermal Test Fixture and Transportation Fixture. It is compatible in both RF testing and thermal environments. The entire structure is bolted together and Flotron had to consider both mean and fatigue stresses resulting from both mechanical and thermal loads. The base frame is counter-weighted to maintain 0.5G horizontally stability. At a later stage of processing, this Cantilevered Fixture is bolted to the top of a Flotron designed Alignment Fixture to position and orient a payload for RF testing.