IBDM Hard Capture System

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IBDM IBDM IBDM ready to hook sensor IBDM Resource Transfer Umbilical IBDM IBDM IBDM
IBDM ready to hook sensor
IBDM Resource Transfer Umbilical
  • Client: QinetiQ / ESA
  • Start date: 2016
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The International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM) is the European androgynous low impact docking mechanism that is capable of docking and berthing large and small spacecraft. The IBDM is being designed to be compatible with the International Docking System Standard (IDSS) and hence compatible with the ISS International Docking Adapters (IDA) on the US side of the ISS. The design is considering the required flexibility to allow the integration of the IBDM into different vehicles.

SENER, as part of a European consortium, is developing the Hard Capture System of the IBDM. The function of the HCS is to create a rigid structural connection to allow for a pressurized passageway between the two spacecraft. It is also responsible for the service connections and the nominal and emergency separation functions.

The main components of the HCS are:

  •  HCS Tunnel Assembly, which provides the structural integrity and accommodates seals, alignment pins and sensors.
  •  HCS Hooks, with 12 independently driven hook units to achieve the structural mating, seal compressions and interface preload. It also accommodates the Contingency Release Devices, based on pyrobolts.
  • Separation System, which generates the required axial thrust to push off the hoisting vehicle from the ISS once the hooks are opened.
  • Resource Transfer Umbilical, with connectors to transfer power and data.
  • MMOD Cover, a Micro Meteorite and Orbital Debris Cover.
  • Thermal Control, active and passive (Multi-layer Insulation over the MMOD)

SENER is responsible for design, implementation, integration and testing of Separators, Resource Transfer Umbilical, MMOD cover, and two types of sensors: Ready To Hook Sensor (RTH) and Undocking Complete Sensor (UCS).

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