• Aluminium Modular Cleanrooms Enable High-Cleanliness Payload Assembly for Satellite Experts

Clean Room

Aluminium Modular Cleanrooms Enable High-Cleanliness Payload Assembly for Satellite Experts

Mar 17 2023

SSTL, the satellite technology experts, are being assisted by Monmouth Scientific, manufacturers of Clean Air Solutions, through their Aluminium Modular Cleanrooms. This solution provides a highly clean environment, allowing the SSTL Engineering teams to assemble and test intricate Optical Payloads with confidence.

Monmouth Scientific pinpointed the Aluminium Modular Cleanroom as the optimal answer to the requirements of the SSTL team who would be assembling delicate technologies, capable of withstanding the harsh environment of space.

For over four decades, SSTL has spearheaded space innovation by offering tailor-made mission solutions that cater to various applications like Earth observation, scientific research, communication, and navigation. These customised, intricate pieces of technology provide essential visual data and play a significant part in developing communication between Earth and space. They can be utilised for observing the Earth, the Moon, or other planets, collecting weather data, as well as for deep-space exploration and navigation.

At SSTL's Guildford headquarters, two ISO Class Aluminium Modular Cleanrooms have been set up. These comprise a 6m x 5m Satellite Engineering Zone with LED lighting panels, and 4m wide entry/exit points that facilitate the smooth movement of large equipment in and out of the Manufacturing Cell.

Project Lead Andrew Norton said: “These genuinely look like a quality lab and by using them as manufacturing cells we have been able to apply good practices from the manufacturing world. 

“We’ve been able to impart flexibility and agility into the system that allows these manufacturing cells to be used across payloads that are highly bespoke and rarely the same.

“The team at Monmouth Scientific were engaging throughout the entire process and provided a cost-effective solution to our requirements.”

Equipped with four CAMT2000 Clean Air Modules, the rooms ensure positive pressure and ISO 14664-1 clean environment standards. The CAM units work by filtering air through HEPA filters (with 99.997% efficiency at 0.3 microns) as it enters the room, generating positive pressure that delivers up to 1800m3 of HEPA filtered air, equal to 60 clean air changes per hour. Initial validation reports and particle counts indicate that the two Cleanrooms maintain an ISO Class 5 environment, with fewer than 100 particles (0.5 microns or larger in diameter) per cubic foot of air.

To accommodate highly intricate procedures, SSTL necessitated controlled zones in the Cleanroom that would conform to even higher ISO Class 4 standards. To this end, the installation of CirculaireÒ HLFT1200 Horizontal Laminar Flow Cabinets in the Cell provides a particle-free workspace that surpasses cleanliness requirements and delivers superior protection.

The Cleanroom structures feature a sleek profile aluminium framework and clear non-break polycarbonate windowpanes with an aluminium composite. The modular design allows for easy reconfiguration and extension, making them a flexible solution that can be tailored to SSTL's evolving needs and project demands. 

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