Demanding customer application
The National Space Organization (NSPO) in Taiwan needed a high strength fastener for its Formosat-5 (Chinese: 福爾摩沙衛星五號) Earth observation satellite. The satellite was Taiwan’s first remote sensing satellite developed by the NSPO.
Formosat-5 includes an Advanced Ionospheric Payload (AIP) installed in the front of the satellite. The AIP is an all-in-one plasma sensor that is designed to monitor the Earth’s weather, climate and seismic precursors associated with strong earthquakes.
The AIP required high strength screws to fasten it together to ensure they are able to function at least throughout the project’s lifespan. As the AIP has a resonance frequency higher than 120 Hz, standard stainless steel screws could not be used.
“Finding a suitable fastener was absolutely essential as fastener failure could result in the failure of the entire mission,” Dr. Chi-Kuang Chao, Head of Graduate Institute of Space Science & Engineering at the National Central University, Taiwan.
The BUMAX solution
BUMAX® 88 screws met all the stringent tests for this kind of demanding extra-terrestrial application. This included the project’s high strength requirements and the critical need to cope with the vibration caused by high resonance.
“We were extremely happy to have found BUMAX fasteners as they met all our rigorous strength and vibration tests, and could outperform standard stainless steel fasteners,” explains Chao.
Most of the screws used are M2, M3, M4 DIN7991. Over 30 screws and nuts were used to assemble the AIP, and almost all the screws used in the left detector are BUMAX products.
Contributing to successful missions
By meeting the satellite’s high strength requirements and vibration tolerance, the BUMAX screws has contributed toward the success of the Formosat-5 mission. The satellite was launched on August 25, 2017, with a five-year mission.
In the coming years, BUMAX screws will be used on various NSPO research rockets and cube satellites. We can therefore expect to see more BUMAX fasteners that are out of this world contributing toward more successful missions in the future.