Mechanical & Thermal


Space Mechanical & Thermal (SMT), a division of the technology & Engineering Center for Space Utilization (CSU), is specialized on the Structural Mechanics and Thermal Control Technology. SMT works with the other departments of CSU to develop space project. There are 19 crews in this department, including one Director, one Deputy Director, and three Team Leaders. SMT has strong technical capabilities. This division consists of three teams: Machinery Team, System Engineering Team, and Thermal Control Team.

Several key members in SMT are professional and practiced. They has accumulated a wealth of engineering experience. When most CSU departments formally established in 2013, SMT became one of three divisions of Techniques.

Scientific research achievements

In recent years, STM was in charge of structure and thermal general design of Space Utilization System programs, and participated in general design of scientific experiment racks programs which Involved in various scientific fields of fluid physics, life ecology, biotechnology, and cold atoms, etc. Meanwhile STM took part in the research and development of scientific racks such as High Micro-gravity Level Rack and Varying-Gravity Exp. Rack and thermal system design of space scientific experiment racks. The development targets are that SMT should focus on the main thread of the CSU scientific research missions, and precede the other congeneric institutions within a decade.

The main research projects

SZ-7 Solid lubrication material test device

From 2006 to 2008, SMT well completed the extravehicular exposure test device in Shenzhou VII, which is first with participation of astronauts in China. Zhigang Zhai, a Chinese astronaut, unlocked the Solid lubrication material test device and retrieve tested samples successfully during the extravehicular activity, at 16:51, on September 27, 2008.


SZ-7 Solid lubrication material test device

Space science experiment rack

In May 2011, following the correlate documents and requires, combining the earlier work, using the other countries’ experiences, and considering China’s national conditions, SMT made the Space General Science Rack. This rack is attained and close to the performances of Foreign Engineering Sample Racks. On one hand, this rack successfully completed functions’ demonstrate mission, to lay the technical foundation for the fight for subsequent engineering tasks. On the other hand, the rack maintain a high degree of consistency and continuity with the products of subsequent development phases to the maximum extent.

Active Vibration Isolation System

From 2009 to 2011, a number of key technologies of high platform of microgravity active vibration isolation technology[c2] , such as high precision acceleration measurement, Lorentz force non-contact drive, six degrees of freedom active vibration isolation control and so on, have been conquered. The principle prototype and air cushion floating ground testing system has been developed. The test results satisfied the expected demand, reached the same level of the foreign advanced products, and lay the foundation for future developing.

The equipment has been in the phase of engineering product development since 2013. China Space Program plans on launching it with the first cargo spaceship in 2015.


Experimental rack thermal control system

Since 2011, SMT has developed the Space experiment thermal control system and improved the ergonomics and maintainability. This system fits the constraint of the actual needs and aircraft platform sufficiently. Meanwhile, it provides a suitable operating temperature for space science payloads.

SMT Awards

SMT crews won three 2nd grade prizes and one 3rd grade prize of military technological progress, more than ten patents and dozens of papers.

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