Lens R&D is a systems engineering company specialised in optimising high reliability (electro-optical) sensors and systems for volume fabrication. This is done by combining a healthy level of innovation with many years of experience and background in the production of sensors and systems for both military and space applications.
Currently, the activities are mainly limited to the design and qualification of sunsensors for space and terrestrial applications and systems engineering consultancy. Founded in March 2012 the company is growing steadily and expanding the facilities as well as the product portfolio.
At this moment in time, the first product (BiSon64) has gone through all testing required to be considered TRL8. The first flight models have been delivered and the first flight is currently planned for Q1/2018. A derivative of this product (BiSon64-B) will be put through final thermal cycle testing shortly and will be launched on the ESA SAT-AIS ESAIL mission in Q3/2018 (Luxspace). The related transport containers and dedicated pigtails are completing the products currently on offer.
An extensive ESA Artes 3-4 program demonstrated that the BiSon64 sensors can be produced to an accuracy of 3.5° without the use of any calibration table, 1° using an offset and gain correction only and 0.5° using the regular calibration tables based accuracy correction. This will allow to tune the on-board software efforts to match the required accuracy. Especially the 3.5° non-calibrated accuracy is expected to be very interesting for larger constellations as it allows to put the sensors on a satellite without any further configuration control and uploading of calibration data (thus significantly lowering the total cost of ownership).
A first test and capability demonstration program in frame of an ESA Artes 5.2 contract has shown that the extended temperature version BiSon74-ET-RH is capable of withstanding on-ground testing and very high levels of mechanical loading not normally experienced by any space hardware (allowing these sensors to be launched by means of every available launcher). This sensor is to be considered TRL7 and is intended for missions with high radiation loading (1Mrad tested diodes and 3mm Aluminium equivalent circumferential shielding) and/or extreme temperature profiles (-125C..+125C). As such this will be a unique product opening up new sunsensor applications like mounting directly on extendable solar panels (even for geostationary satellites) or extra terrestrial missions.
An ESA GSTP program will be started shortly in frame of which not only the BiSon64-ET and BiSon64-ET-B sensors will be build and qualified, but also the production flow and quality control system at Lens R&D will be upgraded to ECSS standards.
Core capabilities of Lens R&D are modelling, design for manufacturing, quality control and optimisation of the supply chain as well as data processing and process optimisation.
The Lens R&D linkedin page, can be found here.