Kistler Instruments Ltd. - PRODUCT NEWS
4,000,000,000 Miles on Just One Tank of Fuel
When the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta space probe arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko it had been travelling for ten years and had travelled 4 billion miles on just one tank of fuel.
If the fuel had run out before the probe reached the comet, the navigational thrusters would not have been able to make the numerous course corrections needed to rendezvous with the comet and then establish a stable orbit from which to launch the Philae landing module. Throughout the long journey, Kistler pressure sensors monitored the fuel consumption continuously for the whole ten years to ensure that Rosetta arrived at its destination with enough fuel to make the final corrections to put the probe into orbit.
The Rosetta mission was one of the most ambitious projects executed by the ESA and two Kistler piezoresistive sensors played a small but valuable part in the success of the project by providing precision fuel monitoring from March 2004 onwards.
The key selection criteria for these sensors included their proven longevity and total reliability despite high levels of vibration at lift-off and years of zero gravity conditions. Rosetta's cargo includes what is known as the Rosetta Disk - a nickel alloy disk with information etched onto it in image form. The disk contains about 13,000 pages of text in 1200 different languages, and it should still be readable after 10,000 years: durable though they are, even Kistler's sensors are unlikely to be functioning after such a lengthy period!
The Swiss-based Kistler Group is a leading global supplier of dynamic measurement technology for pressure, force, torque and acceleration. Kistler's technology is used to analyse physical processes, control industrial processes and optimize product quality.
Kistler has a full range of sensors, electronics and systems for engine development, vehicle technology, assembly technology, plastic and metal processing as well as for biomechanics.
The Group maintains its global presence through 26 sales and manufacturing companies, with tech centres on all continents and more than 30 agencies, enabling the Group to maintain local contact with customers and offer individualized application support.
The Kistler Group employs 1,250 people worldwide and generated revenues of CHF 285 million (GBP 193.5M) in 2013.
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