Electro-Explosive System (EES)


The Electro-Explosive Subsystem

Technology abstract

Electro-Explosive System (EES) was developed by D-Orbit, in the scope of D-SAT mission, for Cubesat decommissioning. The EES ensures the solid rocket motor detonator safe operation. It was designed to meet MIL-STD-1576 and ECSS-E-ST-33-11C requirements. This device can also be used in other fields where safe handling of explosive detonators is required. By using this system an extra layer of safety is added and an accidental ignition does not cause the initiation of the explosive train.

Technology Description

D-Orbit Electro-Explosive System (EES) was developed by D-Orbit in the scope of D-SAT mission. The mission purpose was to demonstrate D-Orbit decommissioning capabilities by decommission a small satellite using a solid rocket motor. In order to ensure the motor’s safe operation this EES was developed. This device features two mechanical and four electrical barrier to prevent that an inadvertent ignition of the pyrotechnical initiator leads to unwanted ignition of the actual pyrotechnical device. Designed according to MIL-STD-1576 and expected to be demonstrated in space in 2017,  the EES is controlled by digital signals and is supplied with its control electronics, or Commanding Board (CB).
The EES contains:

  • Electro-Mechanical Safe & Arm Device (SAD) with sliding barrier;
  • Four Firing circuit boards;
  • The pyrotechnical transmission line between ignitor and the explosive train
  • The independent power source for the all safety critical functions of the  firing circuit;
  • Monitors for the SAD’s state.

All elements are located in a sealed metallic box. The EES followed the qualification process as described by MIL-STD-1576 as well as the typical qualification and acceptance test campaign for a space mission as part of the D-Sat system. Tests included: vibrations, shock, thermal vacuum, leakage, ignition and barrier tests.

Innovations & Advantages

D-Orbit EES can be used in all fields where explosions are used and safe handling of the ignitor charges is required. With minimal modification, it can also be used as an electric safe/arming device designed for extreme environments where accidental operations are not tolerated. D-Orbit EES is designed to work under harsh environments with a high reliability. In 2017 will be tested in space environment. By the use of D-Orbit EES is possible to achieve a safe ignition, meaning the ignition will only occur when needed, accidental ignitions will be prevented.

Further Information

Current and Potential Domains of Application

Rocket propulsion
Mining – Detonators safety
Pyrotechnics – Detonators safety
Pneumatics – High pressure valves in harsh environment