One of NASA’s high profile projects is the impending launch of the technology-forward GOES-R satellite, an engineering breakthrough that will provide significantly more accurate and reliable weather forecasts and severe weather outlooks. During pre-launch testing, a malfunction occurred because of a gold plating failure on a small component plated at a competing vendor. Recognizing us as an established leader in the plating industry, a representative from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center contacted Electro-Spec for a better understanding of the issue and to explore solutions to eliminate the problem.
After many technical discussions, we concluded that “gold embrittlement” compromised the integrity of a solder joint and the best alternative to prevent this from recurring was to selectively gold plate the part. Using our highly engineered, controlled-depth plating system and specialized tooling, we demonstrated that we could selectively apply gold plate in the exact location with precise depth and consistency to overcome the embrittlement issues. We went on to successfully plate these mission critical components, which allowed NASA to move forward with their plans to launch this next-generation weather satellite, which will provide substantially improved weather imaging and superior detection of weather phenomena.
If you are interested in learning more about Electro-Spec and how our expertise can support you’re demanding and critical plating requirements, contact us today.