Airbus Defence and Space

Solar Array Drive Mechanisms (SADMs)

mechanism products

Mechanisms design and manufacture has been ongoing at Airbus Defence and Space in the UK for over 35 years, providing high performance, high reliability, low mass, active and passive mechanisms to meet the exacting demands of the space industry. The group has now been responsible for the design and manufacture of over 280 successfully launched mechanisms onboard scientific communication and test spacecraft for governments, agencies and telecommunication companies around the globe. As a result of this extensive experience. the Mechanisms Product Group has developed a range of modular products that can be readily modified to meet individual mission requirements.

The list of qualified and flight proven mechanisms includes:

  • Antenna Deployment & Trim Mechanisms (ADTM)
    • Rotational
    • Linear
  • Solar Array Drive Mechanisms (SADM)
  • Antenna Pointing Mechanisms (APM)
    • On-station trim and Roll adjustment for sidewall mounted antenna
    • Swash plate design giving up to 9.75û cone angle for top floor mounted antenna
  • Separation /Ejection Systems
  • Hold Down and Release Systems
  • Bearing and Power Transfer Assembly
  • Dampers/Retarders
  • Sun Sensors
  • Deployable Booms
  • Cryogenic coolers


Medium Power SADM

  • Power rating: 9.9kW
  • Design Life: 15 years
  • 18 power circuits (11A per circuit at 50V)
  • 30 signal circuits (30 x 0.5A)
  • Units launched: 32
  • Units ordered: 50
  • Status: Fully Qualified

High Power SADM

  • Power rating: 26kW
  • Design Life: 15 years
  • 12 power circuits (20.2A per circuit at 110V)
  • 30 signal circuits (6 x 1A and 24 x 0.5A))
  • Units launched: 0
  • Units ordered: 4
  • Status: In final stages of Qualification Testing