EN 9100 is an internationally recognised standard for quality management systems for aviation, space and defence. This achievement certifies the system RAL Space has in place as a result of many years of high quality service to the space community.
Matt Fletcher, Head of Environmental Test, STFC RAL Space said:
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the team. We were already running a high quality set of facilities to ISO9001 but working towards and maintaining this new level of quality assurance has really enhanced our service for our customers. This is part of continual improvement efforts and our aim is to achieve further qualifications for both the R100 and the National Satellite Test Facility facilities in the coming years. I’m really proud of the team and the dedication they have shown to ensuring our facilities offer the best service for our community.”
The external auditors, AFNOR, assessed the RAL Space management processes including interaction with customers and suppliers, service quality and delivery. As part of the process it was confirmed that the clean rooms and vibration facility will continue to meet the requirements of the ISO 9001 certification.
RAL Space will work towards further industry standards, extending EN 9100 to the new National Satellite Test Facility and the two 5m thermal vacuum suites in R100. This is the initial milestone towards attaining ECSS-Q-ST-20-07C certification by the European Space Agency, which will further enhance the quality of service at RAL Space and will help fulfil the needs of the UK and European space community.
The National Satellite Test Facility is a purpose built, large scale environmental test facility for spacecraft up to 7 tonnes which will be handed over to RAL Space for commissioning later in 2021. This new facility was built in response to requirements set out by UK users, one of which was that the need for fair access to certified test facilities. It will position RAL Space not just amongst the largest test facilities in Europe but also as one performing at the very highest level.
Over the past year the R100 vibration facility completed 42 tests and six projects have used the nine rentable cleanrooms, including TAS UK which is using RAL Space clean rooms for the assembly and integration of the UK and French MicroCarb satellite.
RAL Space is the UK’s national space laboratory, part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.