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The Data and Power Transfer within Space mechanisms, such as Solar Array Drive Mechanism (SADM), is in principle insured by a contact technology. These components known as SlipRings are of two types: Cylindrical and Pancake. The pancake slip ring concept is the one concerned for this activity. The pancake solution is made of electrical conducting tracks arranged on a flat disk as concentric rings centred on the rotating shaft. This configuration allows optimization of weight, volume and electrical features of the circuits. However, the current pancake design used in space mechanism, mainly for SADM, presents an important cost and long procurement schedule, induced by the complexity in manufacturing the conductive tracks. Therefore, the objective of this activity is to demonstrate that the ‘’2.5D PCB technology’’ can replace the actual risky and costly concept in order to use it in future space mechanisms, and reduce cost and time duration for MAI activities.


The main issues of this project is to manufacture the PCBs in only one part to remove all the operations of gluing, potting and soldering that increase the MAI activities.


The main product benefits are:

  • Reduction of MAIT process time (no gluing, no adjustment of wire brushes, direct soldering) about 50%
  • Better reliability (controlled processes)
  • High thermal dissipation on both side (rotor and stator)
  • Better current repartition into the wire brush (decrease of creep effect)
  • Possibility to be modular

The 2.5D PCB slip ring is a planetary slipring composed of two subassembly:

  • The stator assembly: the fixed part of the slipring.
  • The rotor assembly: the rotative part of the slipring.

The contact between stator and rotor is ensured by wire brushes, soldered at stator side on a PCB and preloaded to be in contact during all the life time with the track.


After successful validation of the 2.5D PCB technology manufacturing process during this Artes 5.2 technology phase demonstrating the full compliance to the requirements and close out of this activity, next step is to initiate an ESA product phase validation starting a new ARTES Competitiveness & Growth (C&G) Product activity through the classical process with our Swiss Space Office.

Current status

Validation done at Subsystem level.