montena technology sa
Route de Montena 89
1728 Rossens
Tel. +41 26 411 84 84
Fax +41 26 411 17 79


ESD test setup for spacecraft equipment

Montena develops and manufactures pulse generators for testing the susceptibility of space equipment to electrical transients coupled into wires by electrostatic discharges (ESD).

The ESD test method according to ECSS-E-ST-20-07C §5.4.12, which is commonly used in space industry, has shown weaknesses in reproducibility. The experience has shown that test results can vary from one test laboratory and setup to another, this entails developing an improved methodology and hardware to address the ECSS test shortcomings.

Our newly developed PESD-ECSS-12K test system consists of:

  • a pulse generator replacing the spark gap defined in ECSS which is difficult to procure
  • a Bulk Current Injection (BCI) probe to be installed on the cable harness. With this tool, the application of the test becomes much simpler than winding by hand a coupling wire around the harness and fixing it with taper.

This system is the first commercially available solution replacing the ECSS setup that was requiring discrete components to be wired on the table.

The generator and the suggested test set-up have been evaluated in different configurations showing an improved reproducibility and a simpler testing procedure. Tests performed with this new system present the same severity as the ECSS wire injection method and are therefore accepted as equivalent.

Read also IEEE conference.


  • Reduced set up time
  • Improved test reproducibility
  • Complete set of accessories for test and measurement available


Proposed test setup for BCI injection of ESD pulses

Signal injection Pulse generator PESD-ECSS-12K 20 V - 10 kV, positive polarity
High frequency injection probe IPDR250 10 kHz to 400 MHz, internal diameter 43 mm
Test accessories Coaxial load and attenuators 1 set Load 25 W, attenuators 40dB and 20dB
Measurement equipment Current sensor   200 Hz - 500 MHz
Oscilloscope OD2C500M 500 MHz, 2 channels, 10 GSa/s