Innovative protective tarp system provides simple no-fail satellite launch solution
1 December 2023
A world leader in launching Low Earth Orbit (LEO) communication satellites needed assistance shipping sensitive satellite components to contract manufacturers, company assembly operations, domestic and international launch sites.
They recognized they required a complete crate solution to withstand detritus, including adverse climatic/environmental conditions — regardless of transport method and physical location.
A test shipment had identified that componentry was being environmentally compromised. Previous crate loss cost estimates ran into the tens of thousands of dollars. A marked improvement was immediately needed to ensure program success and improve confidence in their logistic cycle.
Their missions employ one-of-a-kind, proprietary componentry, equipment and electronics, sensitive to most foreign object damage (FOD) and environmental conditions. A malfunction would be detrimental to mission parameters should the packaging solutions prove the governing factor leading to mission failure.
Failure was not an option.
Packaging needed to not only survive transportation methods that witnessed higher than anticipated vibration, shock and impact, it also needed to withstand prolonged exposure to the elements.
The project team enlisted LPC’s packaging solutions engineers to develop a solution to mitigate transportation-inflicted damage that might affect program success.
We began by analysing the complete logistics cycle and rapidly concluded that additional packaging configurations were required.
Beyond fabricating custom toolless wooden crate solutions with floater construction and internal barrier bag protection, we also immediately ensured the packaging solution was shielded from the elements. To accomplish this, we developed an ingenious crate cocoon (bonnet tarp) capable of enduring exposure to the elements, which would work regardless of whether transportation was via sea, air or land. This end-user deployable, intuitive waterproof tarp system covers each custom-sized crate preventing water ingress and controlling moisture for program logistics compliance.
The satellite project team quickly concluded this solution was less expensive for the launch program than (additional) insurance. And it’s already saving them thousands of dollars in weathered crates they no longer need to replace.