Separation Systems

Space Vector has been designing and building separation systems since the inception of the Aries vehicle for the deployment of payloads, shrouds, and recovery parachute systems. Computer simulations are used extensively in the performance prediction and evaluation of these systems.

Separation Joints

Space Vector produces v-band manacle ring joints in various diameters for separating stages and payloads. These joints differ from traditional marman clamp bands in that the manacle ring provides greater stiffness allowing much higher load caring capability. Joints developed by Space Vector have been tested to over 2 million inch-pound bending. The release mechanism incorporates either a bolt cutter or a non-explosive actuated (NEA) release nut. The NEA reduces shock and eliminates one-shot ordnance devices.

Separation Joints Separation Joints Test Setup

Pneumatic Pistons

The pneumatic piston separation system is used to impart a predetermined delta velocity between two sections. The velocity is easily adjusted by altering the initial supply pressure in the system. Another advantage of the pneumatic system is that the pushers are not pressurized until just prior to separation minimizing the loads on the joints and fasteners during flight.

A squib activated isolation valve initiates separation by allowing pressurized gaseous nitrogen to fill a set of pistons. After pressure equilibrium is achieved, a manacle ring or applicable securing device is released and separation occurs.


Precision Spring Pistons

The precision spring pushers were developed to precisly eject nose fairings and sections for a variety of Space Vector payloads and fairings. Delta velocity is adjusted by selection of springs and number of actuators.

Bellows Separation Systems

The pneumatic bellows separation system is used to impart a high velocity for the separated payload. Typical separation velocities are in the range of 40 ft/sec.

Click here for a seperation systems brochure in a PDF file format.