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Aerospace Space

Resonate Testing raises awareness of battery safety in space

Tom Mallon, Managing Director of Resonate Testing, the Newry based commercial test house, has stressed the need for effective and comprehensive testing on batteries with the increase of modern technology dependent on advanced battery technology.



Above: The Lithium-Ion Battery Testing process.
Courtesy Resonate Testing

Commenting ahead of attending this week’s Space-Comm Expo which is taking place this week at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre (6th-7th March), Tom said: “Battery testing is crucial. The more our society moves towards renewable sources of energy, the greater the need for effective battery storage solutions and comprehensive and thorough testing.

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“With the emerging space sector hub developing in Northern Ireland and the need for batteries that can withstand extreme forces in the technology used, it is of paramount importance that they undergo the correct testing.

“As space opens up to greater exploration and exploitation and the electrical system becomes more complex and power-hungry, the use of advanced battery technology on satellites and other technology has increased year-on-year. Whilst on the ground, the emphasis is making sure all the systems work as desired, as once they go into orbit it is problematic to carry out repairs.

“Getting from the surface of the earth to space is not easy. The extreme forces on take-off reach around 6G, that is six-times the magnitude of the earth’s normal gravitational pull. So, every item on the launch vehicle and onboard technology from the smallest bolt, largest panel or battery array must be able to withstand those extreme forces and function properly.”

Resonate Testing has been providing high quality testing and certification services to companies globally since 2015 and has been able to utilise its expertise in the aviation industry to provide its services to the emerging space sector hub in Northern Ireland and further afield.  
 
Tom continued: “We have vast experience in the aviation testing sector and have positioned our team of engineers to adapt their expertise to service the Space industry. The company, which is part of the NI Space cluster, undertook testing for a camera system used during the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. In the upcoming 12 months, we have a range of space sector projects in the pipeline, such as testing satellites and a system to collect space debris, in addition to our day-to-day commercial testing across a wide range of industries.

“One of the main stays of our company is battery safety. Most battery arrays are made up of lots of lithium-ion units which are easy to charge, capable of storing large amounts of energy and delivering voltage up to three times higher than conventional batteries.”

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Tom is keen to spread the message when it comes to battery safety, whether they are in orbit or powering an e-bike, mobile phone or electric vehicle. He said: “We know what can happen when batteries fail. Even though we are expanding our work within the space sector, we will continue to provide objective testing and evidence-based data to all our client companies, irrespective of whether they operate in space or closer to home.

“We have one of the best testing facilities anywhere in the British Isles. Our engineers have decades of experience between them and can create bespoke solutions often within time frames that competitor companies cannot compete with. We are looking forward to attending the Space-Comm Expo this week to showcase the testing facilities we can provide for the space sector.”

Currently, the UK contributes 6.5% to the global space market and the UK government is aiming to grow this sector to 10% by 2030.

Space-Comm Expo will give Resonate Testing the opportunity to showcase the company’s latest innovations, share inspiring stories and publicise the important advancements that are happening within the space sector in Northern Ireland to a wider audience.

The Resonate Testing team will also be exhibiting at the highly anticipated Paris Space Week which takes place later in the month from 12th–13th March at the Paris Event Centre. This will also provide the company with a great opportunity to explore advancements in space technology and connect with fellow industry experts. 

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