Bradford Engineering

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Bradford Engineering
De Wijper 26 4726 TG
+31 (0)165 305100
+31 (0)165 304422

Bradford Engineering

Bradford Engineering B.V. is a hundred percent Dutch company, specialized in engineering, design and development, production and test of spaceflight components and systems. Numerous Bradford products have flown in space such as six different types of gloveboxes in spacestations and space laboratories. Also valves and other components are developed and built for satellites, ISS and spacecrafts. Bradford is one of the leading space engineering companies in The Netherlands. Bradford has an in-house design & engineering office, testing capabilities, in-house manufacturing and own mechanics, electronics and software tools.

Space activities

The aerospace products can be divided in two main groups: products for human spaceflight and products for satellite platforms and spacecraft.

In the Microgravity Division, the main activities are centred on the design and manufacture of space science equipment for NASA (USA), JAXA (Japan), European Space Agency and RKA Russia. Bradford is recognised as one of the leading authorities in the field of gloveboxes for microgravity research. With gloveboxes, Bradford has a world reputation. On many websites of NASA, ESA and Boeing, gloveboxes made by Bradford such as the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) and LSG for life science are mentioned. The Dutch astronaut André Kuipers used MSG in 2004 for different experiments. Nowadays, also in the ESA Columbus module, experiments are performed in the Biolab Glovebox. In the Glovebox Technology Center at ESTEC, research and preparation of experiments in performed in different gloveboxes of Bradford.

In the Space System and Components Division, the work in propulsion and thermal systems and their controls are the main activity (Components). A wide gamma of off-the-shelf products has been developed and is continuously expanded, while also state-of-the-art propulsion and thermal control systems are being developed. Several component such as valves and sensors and a combination of components in systems has been delivered for e.g. the ESA laboratory Columbus and ATV. Thermal control and propulsion systems has been developed and built for e.g. ESA ATV and satellites like GOCE. The Proportional Xenon Feed Assembly for GOCE is an important and innovative system. The Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop system can be applied in many satellites such as Alphasat. Propulsion systems such as cold gas systems were developed for e.g. British satellites and Proba-2. For ATV, a complex Cabin Fan Assembly has been built. Also Avionics Air Assemblies has been developed for ESA and Japan.

Bradford also developed and built in close cooperation with TNO, sun sensors for e.g. Galileo and Globalstar. Nowadays, new types of reaction wheels are developed.

Space products and Technology Transfer

The most important space products are:

  • Space propulsion system (e.g. applied in GOCE)
  • Space Thermal Control systems (e.g. applied in future Alphasats)
  • Space Cold gas systems (e.g. applied in Proba-2)
  • Valves (dozen types; 3-way valves; thrusters control valves)
  • Pressure transducers (many types) and
  • Ultrasonic Flow Meters and Micro Flow Sensors
  • Proportional Micro Thrusters
  • Reaction Wheels
  • Fine and Course Sun Sensors

Technology transfer is also important for Bradford. The knowledge of terrestrial components (spin-in) on valves, sensors, etc are applied in satellites and ISS (e.g. GOCE, ATV and Columbus).

The Glovebox ozoniser applied in the Columbus Biolab Glovebox has several possible application in terrestrial systems (e.g. for dentists).

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