Power fuses successfully recertified for space applications

5th September 2018
Lanna Cooper


SCHURTER and the European Space Agency (ESA) have a long and intensive cooperation in research and development. SCHURTER has been the exclusive supplier of fuses for a decade. The biennial recertification also took place in 2018 without any complaints.

Almost exactly ten years ago, according to the company SCHURTER was the first and only European manufacturer to announce that its MGA-S fuse was successfully tested and certified by ESTEC (European Space and Research and Technology Center), the testing and certification body of ESA.

The MGA-S is an SMD fuse, which is manufactured in thin-film Technology, hermetically sealed and extremely robustly designed with a ceramic housing. Similarly, the HCSF (High Current Space Fuse) fuse was developed for applications with higher rated currents.

Following an intensive evaluation and qualification process, SCHURTER also received the certification of the HCSF fuse in January 2016. Eight years after the successful qualification of the MGA-S, SCHURTER is still the only Swiss company and also the only European supplier of fuses with this qualification.

Toughest tests
Both fuses meet the demanding requirements of the space industry, such as consistent properties in high vacuum operation or accelerations up to 1,600g.

Since 2008 SCHURTER has been producing MGA-S fuses according to the agreed product requirements. The evaluation phase for the development of the requirements and solutions took four years. Each individual space fuse is subjected to a screening test.

All measured values are recorded and handed over to the customer together with the delivery in a batch documentation. In requalification processes recurring every two years, ESA checks compliance with all technical production measures on the basis of defined qualification criteria.

Currently, space fuses are used to protect redundant systems in satellites against short circuits or to switch them off specifically so that a replacement system can take over the function. Communication systems are also specifically switched on and off, for example to send data packets at a specific time.

These switching characteristics cause high pulse loads when switching on, which must be absorbed by the fuses without tripping and without influencing their long term switching off behaviour.

SCHURTER is proud to be listed on the ESA website as a supplier of qualified products. The excellent quality of SCHURTER products is based on targeted development in close cooperation with their partners and the use of manufacturing processes and production facilities.

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