New Emerson and ESA innovation lab aims to redefine space system testing

March 21, 2024
The facility, known as the Open Innovation Laboratory, boasts state-of-the-art modular instrumentation and application software.

DEBRECEN, Hungary - Emerson’s Test and Measurement Business Group (formerly NI) announced that it and the European Space Agency (ESA) are to create the new Open Innovation Laboratory located in Debrecen, Hungary.  This facility will help redefine space system development and deployment by introducing advanced test strategies aimed at reducing costs and mitigating risks. 
A laboratory situated within Emerson’s Test & Measurement offices in Debrecen is now accessible to projects meeting specific criteria outlined by the ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP). The facility, known as the Open Innovation Laboratory, utilizes state-of-the-art modular instrumentation and application software, positioning it as a leader in technological advancements within the space industry.

Central to the laboratory’s capabilities are Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) test systems, a pivotal technology that reproduces the operational environment for subsystems undergoing testing. Additionally, the lab features modular instrumentation and application software catering to Emerson’s Wideband Multichannel Phase Aligned Transceiver (MPA) System, offering capabilities such as S-Parameters analysis, pulse-to-pulse stability assessment, and emulation of a Wideband Satellite Link.

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Emerson's emphasis on modular and scalable approaches is integral to the lab's mission of revolutionizing the design of intricate satellite system-of-systems. This entails a concentrated effort on RF/microwave payloads, incorporating wideband and active multi-beam antennas, onboard digital processors, and regenerative software-defined radios.
“The new lab embodies the shared vision of Emerson’s Test & Measurement business and the European Space Agency to accelerate innovation within the space industry,” said Ritu Favre, group president, Emerson’s Test & Measurement business group.  “By focusing on the development of comprehensive test strategies from the early stages of development, engineers can avoid late-stage problem discovery, which can lead to significant cost overruns and delays.”

Related: ESA salutes Galileo satellite system meeting aviation standards

“We are pleased that the ESA’s NAVISP has supported the establishment of the new Open Innovation Laboratory in Debrecen. This builds on a productive relationship established over several years between our organizations, and I am confident it will pave the way to new market opportunities for innovative Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions and services,” said Rafael Lucas Rodriguez, head of ESA’s NAVISP Technical Program Office. “The infrastructure for PNT is rapidly evolving, and the laboratory will provide industry with the tools to test and prototype new technologies addressing the emerging market areas such as Controlled Radiation Pattern Antennas (CRPA) to provide resilient positioning to the users.”

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