Non-Standard Testing

Our testing experience

We develop special setups to do non-standard testing: Thermal Vacuum, Ambient Cycling, and Custom developments for testing (power lasers, temp sensors). Tests that no one else would be able to do.

ALTER is putting an important effort into developing new capabilities to validate new technologies (i.e., optoelectronics and MEMS) for space applications and extending these testing capabilities from the part level to instrument or system level. 

In addition, the experience of ALTER in the management of space projects, together with the commitment of the company to the research and development activities, has been reflected in the participation of the company in a large number of projects as coordinator of other research and/or development groups.


We introduce you to the success cases of our Non-standard testing LAB in which we share all the technical knowledge we apply to develop custom solutions.

Curiosity Rover

ALTER has participated in the REMS and MEDA projects to develop environmental stations working on Curiosity and Perseverance rovers. Part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, within NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, Curiosity is the largest and most capable rover ever sent to Mars.

Download this case to know the methodology used to characterize the ultraviolet photodiodes used in the Curiosity rover.

JUICE case

JUICE is a spacecraft designed by Airbus for the ESA mission to fly the Jovian system. Two types of multimode fibers (50µm and 400µm) will be used for the scalar sensor of the JUICE magnetometer that will be placed at the end of a boom.

In this successful case, we present a complex thermal cycling test for the fibers that will be used in the real scenario of the JUICE mission.

SCCT case

The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is equipped with a Laser Micro-Imager (SuperCam). The SuperCam calibration target carries a complex set of standards for imaging calibration.

SCCT developers chose ALTER to perform the environmental and mechanical tests on qualification and flight models to verify the instrument’s suitability for harsh environmental conditions during the launch, cruise, landing, and operation on Mars.

EMVA1288 Standard

Almost 20 years ago, representatives of the European machine vision industry established the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA), which have issued an EMVA1288 Standard for Characterization of Image Sensors and Cameras. Our goal is not to introduce the standard here (however, we encourage the readers to learn more about it, but to show how it is implemented in the ALTER labs.

Mechanical Switches

Verifying the correct behavior of a switch has been carried out during half a million on and off switches. The conditions of this test made the realization difficult since they had to be done under conditions of the vacuum of space.

Download this case to know which system allowed us to carry out half a million interactions without problems in this successful project.

Strain Gages

The Strain Gages are used to measure the deformation of materials. Their use in space leads to the necessity of testing them in thermal vacuum conditions.

Download this case to know how ALTER has carried out the test Strain Gages from -190ºC to more than 200ºC. A description of the setup to do a live test with periodic application of strain in a vacuum at a controllable temperature is also explained.

Illuminated Photodiodes

Thermal cycling of 160 illuminated photodiodes

Technology improvement has allowed private companies to start to think about having their satellite constellation, too, among other things, provide high-quality internet services via satellite to any point of the globe.

Alter Technology has participated in these new space projects by developing a complex setup capable of simultaneously measuring 20 solar sensors under homogeneous incident light during thermal cycles testing.

Angular Sensors

Angular Sensors Measurements in Vacuum and Temperature

A typical qualification campaign for space applications comprises environmental tests like thermal cycling and vacuum temperature test. Under ESA contract number 20945/07/NL/IA, Alter Technology developed test benches for the characterization and qualification testing of 16bit Contactless angular sensors prototypes for telecom satellites extended life mechanisms.

Discover more about this Precision Test Tool for Angular Sensor´s qualifications for Space Applications, a modular system used for two other ESA projects.


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