Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVC)
The test facility is a thermal vacuum chamber connected to a clean room class 10 000. Therefore, it is typically used for flight hardware tests (cable wrap assemblies, slip-rings, complete rotary joints,…).
The aim of the test facility is the simulation of thermal vacuum conditions, typically for the simulation of space environment (open space and sun exposure) on parts up to 60 x 80 cm2; chamber’s inner diameter = 88 cm, its length = 120 cm.
The simulation of the satellite surface temperature is done by means of a temperature controlled copper plate mounted inside the vacuum chamber. The main part of the device is a 0.8 m in diameter and 1.2 m long (volume: 0.6 m3) vacuum chamber made out of stainless steel. The vacuum pressure of better than 10-6 mbar is achieved using a Adixen ACP40 rotary vane pump together with a Pfeiffer Hi Pace 1200 turbo pump (1000 l/s). The control of the vacuum pressure is done by a TPR 018 F-No 44244014 (gauge tube for rough vacuum) and an IKR 060 F-No 44243822 (inverted magnetron high vacuum gauge). Both pressure measurement cells are calibrated by deliverer. The chamber is equipped with 4 CF40, 2 CF63, 2 CF100 and 1 CF200 flanges on the front door (placed in the clean room, s. below), 4 CF40, 4 CF63, and 1 CF200 flange on the back side and 1 CF 200, 2 CF 150, 2 CF 63 and 4 CF 40 on the circumference of the chamber. These flanges will be used for the feed-throughs for the cooling and heating devices and the connection of the necessary measurement devices for the characterisation of the test object (thermocouples, Si-diode sensors, heat flux sensors, etc.).
The equipment used is an Eurotherm 2408 with Thyristor and an Eurotherm 2416 with Thyristor for temperature control. 20 PT100 (OMEGA Thinfilm RTD Element F3105) for measurement of the temperature at several positions inside the TVC and a Keithley 2700 Multimeter, including a Keithley 7700 multiplexer, incl. IEEE – card for importing the data to the PC. After every new set-up all needed PT100 are calibrated by new with a calibration furnace (calibrated by deliverer).
By means of a heating / cooling plate and / or a heating / cooling pot made from Cu the test item can be heated up to about 300 °C and cooled down to about -130 °C. Heating rate: up to 8 °C / min, cooling rate: up to 6 °C / min.
Available heating / cooling plates:
– 50 x 50 cm²
– 70 x 100 cm²
Available heating / cooling pots:
– diameter 14 cm
– diameter 18 cm
– diameter 27 cm
Furthermore, a 20 x 20 cm² cooling plate serving as witness plate is available. The vacuum chamber is also equipped with a QCM allectra 710-DSH-SHUT. The front door is inside the clean room, the external equipment and the backside of the chamber are placed in a neighboured lab, s. following pictures.