Multi-Layer Insulation Facility
21 Sep 2009



RAL Space operates a multi-layer insulation (MLI) facility that supplies bespoke MLI solutions to customers from across the UK, European and global space sector.

​​​​​​​Multi-Layer Insulation Facility and hand finishing of MLI blankets

​​​​​​​​​Multi-Layer Insulation Facility

Credit: STFC RAL Space

We have excellent heritage experience of MLI delivery for space instruments, satellites, spacecraft, and ground-based test facilities. RAL Space provides a tailored integration service to suit each customer's requirements both on and off site, working to ISO9001 quality standards.​

RAL Space provides a full MLI service from initial conceptual design through to MLI manufacture, test and integration. All blankets are made to order, so the MLI can be entirely bespoke to your application. Our design team will understand the complexity of your geometries and propose a solution suitable to your needs.  We strive to provide an equal level of service regardless of the size of the project, whether a large satellite or a smaller application. Additionally, the MLI group manufactures blankets with the support of an experienced thermal engineering group and mechanical design teams.

Our MLI facility is equipped with a dual static plotter for plotting and cutting directly from version-controlled CAD drawings. This allows for direct translation from the 3D CAD designs to the 2D blankets and provides for the highest standards of version control on designs. For MLI blankets that require an outer layer made from Beta-cloth (i.e. for equipment in low earth orbits subject to high levels of atomic oxygen) we have a dedicated Durkopp-Adler flatbed sewing machine.    


We are able to provide MLI suitable for various uses:

  • MLI constructed with atomic oxygen resistant materials for Low Earth Orbit
  • MLI for cryogenic applications
  • MLI able to withstand high temperatures


Our services include: 

  • An accredited ISO9001 framework, with approved ISO9001 procedures for each stage of the work
  • A dedicated 85m² ISO Class 7 temperature and humidity-controlled cleanroom for MLI manufacture
  • Access to 11 thermal vacuum chambers ranging in diameter from 0.5m to 5m, providing the option for vacuum bakeout and thermal testing of MLI blankets
  • The flexibility to provide a tailored integration service to suit each customer's requirements including the ability to complete the integration onsite within the customer's facilities
  • The thermo-optical properties of the MLI material can be verified using the facilities devices and services emissometer and solar absorptivity instruments
  • Use of a four-stage hands off CFC free cleaning system for consistent controlled cleaning of space hardware ​​

    Technician uses templates to finish MLI blankets by hand.         
Hand Finishing of MLI Blankets​ 

Credit: STFC RAL Space

Enquire to find out more:

 We would be happy to provide more information about our products and services. If you would like to contact us, one of our friendly MLI engineers will be able to discuss further your mission/project needs and what solution could be offered.

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries