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SITAEL - Italy


SITAEL, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aerospace technology, selected Comtest Engineering for the construction of a one-of-a-kind EMC facility to further enhance the testing capabilities that power vital research and space exploration.

With over 350 employees and state-of-the-art facilities, SITAEL is the largest privately-owned space company in Italy. SITAEL’s Small Satellites, Advanced Propulsion Systems, Instruments and Avionics are known the world over for their forward thinking design and dependability. It is no surprise then that SITAEL is a leading contractor and preferred partner for many stakeholders in space missions with objectives ranging from oceanography and climate observation to fundamental physics and space exploration.

Earthbound pursuits

The relentless focus on the development of new technology that is able to withstand the rigors of space has also led SITAEL to engage in other areas that are either characterized by – or stand to benefit greatly from innovation. In addition to its aerospace component manufacturing, SITAEL is providing test services to all Angel group technology businesses, in industrial sector, in railway sector, the world of scientific instrumentation and the fast growing field that is the Internet of Things. Sitael is also providing certified test services to other companies as independent laboratory.

Expanding capabilities with Comtest

Clearly, SITAEL is involved in quite a wide range of demanding activities. However, in order to make sure a new product or technology can be deployed safely and in an optimal timeframe, on-site testing capabilities need to be equally extensive. In August of 2020, SITAEL reached out to Comtest with the request to design an EMC testing facility with two important requirements. It would need:

  • a shielded entrance large enough to allow the delivery of satellites and scientific equipment,
  • (and) the ability to quickly switch between military, commercial and aerospace testing.

The last requirement in particular is interesting because not many chambers are designed with more than one standard in mind and yet SITAEL’s new chamber has the ability to be configured for several with relative ease. Comtest achieved this by providing SITAEL with the option to use a turntable as well as a secondary MIL-STD and CISPR-25 table that, between them, support an impressive variety of testing standards and equipment loads. Rearranging the chamber is a fairly trivial matter since all of the necessary connectors and convenient profiles for easy installation are provided for.

In addition, the LED lighting solution is RF noise-free, Comtest’s signature polystyrene absorbers (that do not lose carbon even over long periods) ensure the necessary clean room rating and performance is excellent with a high absorption that is stable over time from 10 MHz to 40 GHz.

SITAEL’s Marco Parisi:

“We became aware of Comtest through a mutual connection and after a proper introduction it was clear they would make a good choice for the design of the new SITAEL facility. At first, we planned for this to be a long term project, but the decision was made early on to compress the timeline significantly. It has to be said, Comtest performed admirably under the added pressure and was able to go from initial planning to fully functioning facility in no more than six months. An impressive achievement given the chamber’s size (and capabilities) and we are satisfied with the result.”

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