Design and manufacturing of containers and ground support equipment (MGSE)

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Containers for large satellite transport

Containers for the transport of large satellites are designed to be loaded onto the largest aircraft: ANTONOV 124, C5 Galaxy, and BELUGA. Their dimensions are tailored to fit the aircraft's loading openings and cargo bays. Large containers have dimensions around 12 m x 5 m x H 4 m with a weight of around 26 tonnes.

Based on the specifications provided by the client, ACMH conducts an analysis of the required performance. Our containers, delivered and still in service for over 30 years, provide valuable information to ensure a long lifecycle. After a risk assessment, ACMH develops a new container using components from previously developed products.

The transported satellite will be protected against shocks and vibrations by the container's suspensions. They are calculated by our engineering department and verified through drop tests. A filter system and redundant air conditioning provide protection against contamination (cleanliness class ISO 8 to ISO 5) and extreme temperatures. Tests are conducted to verify the container's suitability for operation in these environments.

Containers for medium-sized satellites

Containers for medium-sized satellites are designed to be transported on commonly used commercial cargo aircraft (Boeing 747, Ilyushin-76, etc.). They consist of a base covered by a bell-type cover, equipped with a sealing gasket and multiple closure points around the perimeter.


The advantage of this type of container is its easy access around the satellite during loading and unloading operations.


The container complies with IATA requirements for pressure during flight. It protects the satellite from dust, humidity, and contaminants. Thanks to its suspension, the container filters out shocks and vibrations. Two redundant air conditioning systems ensure the satellite's protection against extreme temperatures. The cover structure is dimensioned for both lifting the assembly and quasi-static accelerations.

Small containers

This type of container is designed for the transport of microsatellites or various small instruments that are part of satellites (optical instruments, antennas, radars, cameras, etc.).


They are designed to be suitable for flights on common passenger airlines. Their small size does not compromise the level of protection they offer.


Their suspension and structure are versatile, providing protection against vibrations from payloads of varying masses, sizes, and very different volumes.


For the transport of optical instruments, the container adheres to specific stringent requirements for humidity and dust while still complying with IATA Air Cargo Regulations for pressure.


Small containers do not have active air conditioning, only thermal insulation to mitigate temperature fluctuations. They are also equipped with a nitrogen purge system to reduce relative humidity inside the container.

Satellite integration carts (MGSE)

During satellite assembly, integration carts are used to hold them in the desired position. ACMH offers a range of integration carts with a payload capacity (CMU) between 600 and 6,000 daN, with a centre of gravity distance of 1,000 to 3,000 mm. The cart consists of a plastron articulated on a rolling frame. The plastron can tilt from vertical to horizontal and is equipped with a 360° rotating ring, with the satellite attachment interface capable of translation.


The entire system is designed to provide stability in all positions. Kinematic chains prevent abrupt movements. Starts and stops are gradual. Its electrical installation provides high protection against overvoltages and leakage currents. The carts can be moved within the clean room with the payload on top, either on their own wheels or air cushions.

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Contact us for the design and manufacturing of containers and ground support equipment (MGSE) at +33 (0)2 31 81 68 00

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