Tyndall now one of Europe’s first DPA ‘stress test’ centres for spacetech

13 Nov 2018

From left: ESA’s Britta Schade, Laurent Marchand and Franco Ongaro with Tyndall’s Finbarr Waldron and Prof William Scanlon. Image: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

As home of the ESA Space Solutions Centre, the Tyndall National Institute in Cork now has certification to stress-test a whole range of spacetech.

Representatives from the European Space Agency (ESA) arrived at Tyndall today (13 November) to announce that its Space Solutions Centre based at the research centre is now a Destructive Physical Analysis (DPA)-accredited space component analysis service under ISO 17025.

For Irish and international spacetech manufacturers, this means that they can stress-test their latest equipment at the Space Solutions Centre, which now meets approval standards for ESA missions.

This makes Tyndall one of the first laboratories in Europe to be awarded the DPA, and the institute hopes this will attract Irish and European partners requiring accredited testing facilities for components specifically for space flight hardware, satellites, flight guidance and scientific instrumentation.

The ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland was established at Tyndall in 2016 and is a partnership consortium led by the latter.

Since then, the ESA Business Incubation Centre has attracted entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and academics in the space industry. It provides access to ESA’s portfolio of more than 450 patent applications and patents across robotics, radio frequency, electromagnetics and power for spacetech.

“Tyndall sought this accreditation to further develop our component analysis activity and expand our links with the Irish and international space industry,” said Prof William Scanlon, chief executive of Tyndall.

“Having locally available expertise in electronic component analysis in Ireland also assists companies in non-space sectors to solve process and production problems.”

He continued: “The availability of these services helps us attract new companies and start-ups working on high-reliability technologies for both space and non-space applications, which still have stringent quality requirements such as telecoms, medical and other areas.”

Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan, TD, was also at the announcement, saying: “Tyndall is becoming a go-to partner for large space prime contractors and SMEs developing solutions for both upstream and downstream space markets.

“On behalf of the Irish Government, I commend the strategic vision, research excellence, and strong industry acumen and relationships that has [sic] enabled Tyndall to achieve this sought-after accreditation.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic