Workmanship Standards and their Application on ESA Projects
The first ESA (then ESRO) workmanship standard was published in 1972. It applied to the hand soldering of electronic assemblies and became a contractual document, either replacing or supplementing a vast number of company standards that had existed in European manufacturing companies. Since then some 40 standards relating to Materials and Processes have been developed by ESA, the majority of which are now to be found in the ECSS series of European Standards. These documents are based on industrial practices and are periodically modified to take into account newly developed technologies, the results of failure analyses (lessons learned), laboratory and field test results, and some particular requests from industry. Such standards often include the need for some degree of qualification of material or process. They all relate to the top document, ECCS-Q-70B, "Space Product Assurance - Requirements for Materials, Mechanical Parts and Processes". Where appropriate, the standards are backed up by a number of ESA-approved Skills Training Schools who provide courses that result in the Certification of Operators, Inspectors and Instructors. The standards include illustrations of Acceptable and Rejectable workmanship - these documents are essential during the inspection and disposition of spacecraft flight hardware. The paper will cover a broad range of subject matter related to workmanship and the selection of materials and processes for the manufacturer of spacecraft.