Airbus Defence and Space, Germany

Clean rooms also play an important role in the development, construction and testing of satellites and space technologies. Satellites, probes and space instruments require the cleanest possible conditions for production.

The final integration of satellites at Airbus Defence and Space takes place in various clean room classes in order to protect the satellites from contamination.

Viessmann Technologies supplied various systems for this project and is responsible for their annual maintenance. Constructing a clean room in a hall up to 18 m high with 16 m high return air shafts, corresponding load-bearing substructures and very high safety standards were just some of the challenges of this project.

Why are satellites assembled under clean room conditions?

Satellites have to be 100% functional for their mission. Once in space, it is usually not possible to repair defects. If even the smallest dust particle gets onto the lens of a satellite, research results can become inaccurate or even impossible. All production steps at Airbus Defence and Space are carried out in a clean room in order to protect the satellite as best as possible from contamination.

An up to 18-metre high hall requires technical expertise on the part of the planners and contractors

Normally, the air flow in a clean room is vertical. The height of the Airbus hall made it necessary to find a special solution, as the required large air volume meant that the room's required cleanliness class was impossible to guarantee “classically”.

Clean room classes ISO 5 and ISO 8 in one room

Another special feature of this project is that clean rooms of classes ISO 5 and ISO 8 were housed in one room without spatial separation. This of course allowed Airbus to establish faster and more efficient processes, because material and personnel locks could be simplified. However, it posed an additional challenge for compliance with air parameters.

The technical challenges were solved using a huge FFU (filter fan unit) wall. The filter fan units blow air into the clean room through the filters in front of them. The air flows are extracted again through perforated plates in the floor to guarantee the ISO 5 clean room class.

Flexible and deep air flows through swirl chamber outlets

Swirl chamber outlets are installed in the FFU. The large volume of the entire room means that these swirl chamber outlets allow the air flows to be dispersed flexibly - both very deeply and broadly - and the air is kept clean throughout the room. Their range is much greater compared to normal air outlets.

The high density of FFUs in a single room is not without some level of noise. In order to comply with the Workplace Directive, the normally open-pored sound insulation elements were wrapped with an acoustic foil and inserted between the ceiling elements. The resulting smooth surface of the foil allows for optimal cleaning according to clean room conditions.

Technical details:

  • 2300 m² accessible clean room ceiling with acoustic panels
  • 1070 m² inaccessible clean room ceiling
  • Return air shafts up to 16.2 m high
  • 454 filter fan units
  • 54 swirl chamber outlets
  • ISO 5 and ISO 8 clean room without structural separation