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Congratulations on the Successful Launch of the Next-Generation H3 Launch Vehicle

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced the successful launch of its next-generation H3 Launch Vehicle.  The H3 Rocket was developed by JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) as the next-generation core launch vehicle to ensure Japan’s independence in space development and to make the launch vehicle internationally competitive in terms of commercial orders.  ETS-Lindgren would like to congratulate all parties involved in making this major project a success.

H3 Rocket EMC Test Facility

When Japan’s MHI needed to evaluate the EMC performance of the latest version of their high-profile H3 Rocket — in its final configuration — they turned to the experts at ETS-Lindgren to protect their considerable investment.

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EMC & eMobility

For a company embarking on EMC testing for either component or vehicle-level testing of their EV products, it is necessary first to have a good understanding of the EMC regulatory situation.

MHI Launch Services

MHI is a launch vehicle manufacturer and launch services provider that ensures the “secure” delivery of a customer’s payload (satellite) to “a target orbit” on “a target date.” These services commenced in 2007 with the execution of Flight No. 13 of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle.  Launch Services of the H-IIB began in 2013, resulting in the expansion of MHI’s Launch Services.

The greatest strength of MHI’s Launch Services is a comprehensive scope of amenities, including coordination of the entire process from the manufacture of the launch vehicle to the interface between the spacecraft and launch vehicle in addition to program management and launch campaign execution.  Satellite manufacturers and satellite operators deal directly with MHI engineers, the people most familiar with MHI’s launch vehicle technologies and systems.  This direct coordination enables consistent and accurate engineering throughout the entire process.

H3 Rocket Project Summary: Cabin and System

The EMC Test Facility used in the final process of the H3 Rocket development and its installation at MHI in Tobishima was completed in August 2020.  The project consists of an RF Shielded Cabin and EMC Test System that enables RF transmit/receive and control measurements as well as a positioning system.  These features were selected from ETS-Lindgren’s vertically integrated product line and designed to be optimized for the overall success of the project.  Since the project also provides a temporary validation system as part of the H3 Rocket development final manufacturing process, an expedited installation and economic efficiency were also taken into consideration.

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RF Shielded Cabin

The RF Shielded Cabin was designed to eliminate any test error due to outside RF or EM interference.  It enables simulation of the straight-directing electromagnetic wave to replicate the conditions in outer space.

Key features:

  • Cabin dimensions are 19.7 m Long x 9 m Wide x 9 m High (65 ft x 30 ft x 30 ft) with an RF transmitting section at 7.2 m High (24 ft).
  • Cabin is constructed of ETS-Lindgren’s Series 81 Modular Shielding Panels.  The modular panels were designed to be partially removable for easy transport of the 5 m (16 ft) diameter rocket body into the cabin for testing.
  • Shielding performance is 100 dB and above in the frequency range of 10 kHz to 40 GHz.
  • ETS-Lindgren’s EHP-8PCL High-Performance Microwave Pyramidal Absorber was placed on the main reflecting surface in order to control irregular reflection inside.  An Electromagnetic Blocking Curtain was also provided.
  • The RF Shielded Cabin is designed to withstand an earthquake and comply with the domestic regulation on faint signal radio station as stipulated in Radio Act Enforcement Regulation Clause 6 Item 1-2.

EMC Test System

MHI provides expertise in space development and operation.  ETS-Lindgren provides expertise in turn-key test chambers and systems that can replicate real-world operating environments for a wide-range of products, including satellites and rockets.  Combining this expertise resulted in a state-of-the-art EMC Test System to support MHI’s Aerospace Research and Development efforts.

Key features:

  • RF transmit/receive and control capabilities, including an XY positioning system, for performing radiated emission (RE) and radiated susceptibility (RS) testing to validate the emissions and immunity of the H3 Rocket.
  • The frequency range is 10 kHz to 18 GHz for both RE and RS testing.
  • Testing may be performed at any given point on the rocket staging surface set on the XY axes with a unique customized positioner; this replicates an EMC test during onboard satellite staging.
  • ETS-Lindgren’s Model 8000/8100 Series Power Amplifier and Antennas enable an RS test capability to radiate 10 V/m field strength in the frequency range of 10 kHz to 1 GHz and 100 V/m from 1 GHz to 18 GHz.

ETS-Lindgren’s TILE!™ — Totally Integrated Laboratory Environment — Software controls the EMC Test System and is noted for its legacy of supporting automated EMC testing for defense and aerospace applications.  The TILE! Software provided for this project was customized to meet MHI’s specific test requirements.  As a result, TILE! expedites EMC testing, saving MHI considerable man hours in actual test time.

A Team Approach

This project was supported by ETS-Lindgren’s global team of over 800 personnel located in Asia, Europe, and North America.  The EMC Test System was pre-integrated at ETS-Lindgren’s headquarters located in Cedar Park, Texas, USA, to confirm its complete system operation and success of the project.  ETS-Lindgren’s Cedar Park veteran team of software and hardware engineers validated all performance objectives prior to shipment to Tobishima.  Working closely with MHI’s experts during the initial concept of the project to discuss their goals and objectives with the RF Shielded Cabin and EMC Test System resulted in ETS-Lindgren providing the optimal design and installation.  Now, MHI is ready to meet current and future EMC test requirements with their state-of-the-art facility.

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