While it is comparatively cheap and feasible to launch satellites and other objects into space, moving them around once in space remains a challenge. Propulsion systems are either unaffordable or unsuitable for continuous and precise mobility. But precise mobility is increasingly vital as space becomes more crowded.
The seven founders of GATE Space developed chemical rocket engines as students at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. In 2022, they turned their attention to developing the GATE Jetpack, a complete off-the-shelf solution that includes all components, such as the rocket engine, tank, and electronics—an environmentally friendly chemical propulsion system.
Help Getting Started
Everyone at GATE Space had worked with student licenses from SOLIDWORKS® at university, so it was a no-brainer to choose the 3DEXPERIENCE® for Startups program, under which Dassault Systèmes provides young companies with cost-effective access to SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD along with a direct connection to the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
“Especially for young companies without a lot of start-up capital, a low-effort entry is essential. The fact that we can use a CAD tool that is widely used in the industry under favorable conditions, and with which we also already had prior experience, was a decisive driver for us to get started with our ideas.”
GATE Space COO Taras Weinl.
Perfecting the Design
The GATE Jetpack’s thrusters are controllable. Like a drone, they enable stabilization and precise movement. The Jetpack can also be attached via a standard interface to the outside of a satellite next to a rocket, which enables the greatest possible flexibility in addressing different customer needs.
Because the success of an entire mission depends on a functioning propulsion system, every detail of the GATE Jetpack must be thoroughly tested to avoid risks, especially because the costs are so high. Unlike most other companies in the industry, the GATE Space team uses an efficient rapid prototyping process. They build the hardware relatively early in the process, then test and refine it through repeated cycles of development.
The development team uses SOLIDWORKS for all their CAD activities. This includes creating designs, making drawings, generating derived drawings, as well as performing simulations, which is an integral part of the entire development process. For more complex simulations, such as thermal conduction and expansion or vibration analysis, the team also leverages Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA®.
Efficient Cloud-based System
GATE Space’s approach to turning a previously custom system into an off-the-shelf solution boldly stands out from the competition, allowing a wider range of customers to be served using the same technology.
The 3DEXPERIENCE for Startups program enabled GATE Space to overcome its financial limitations and lack of IT infrastructure to develop a cloud-based and highly efficient simulation process for a complex, cost-intensive product within budget. The team works from home, on the shop floor, or on-site with customers. “The entire product data management can be mapped via the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. And we receive the necessary technical support. So, we can be sure—even without our own IT department—that everything runs smoothly,” says Chief Technology Officer Alexander Sebo.
GATE Space is aiming for the industrialization of space mobility with its affordable and easy-to-use drive technology. Taras Weinl concludes: “It would be good if we could automate even more processes, bring more data into the models, and move more in the direction of virtual twin. With SOLIDWORKS, all of this is possible.”
You can read this full case study here: https://www.solidworks.com/customer-story/gate-space-streamlines-development-3dexperience-works-startups solidworks.com/gatespace
If you’d like to optimize your company’s 3D CAD and simulation tools, contact your local reseller to learn more about SOLIDWORKS on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.