Components testing: Large Vacuum Chamber (LVC)
The facility is typically used for bake-out and thermal cycling processes under vacuum. It is positioned in a laboratory clean environment.
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 with a diameter and height of up to 1.4 m; Inner diameter = 1.5 m, Height = 1.5 m.
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 vacuum chamber made out of stainless steel. The vacuum pressure of better than 10-6 mbar is achieved using a VARIAN DS 602 rotary vane pump together with a VARIAN TV 1001 turbo pump (1000 l/s). The chamber is equipped with several CF flanges with various dimensions 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 temperature control is an Eurotherm 2408 with Thyristor and an Eurotherm 2416 with Thyristor for. Up to 20 PT100 (OMEGA Thinfilm RTD Element F3105) for measurement of the temperature at several positions inside the LVC are available.
All data is logged permanently by means of a PC.
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 -100 °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
For typical bake-out processes, a quartz microbalance is available. Additionally, witness plates may be placed on a cool plate in the near of the pumping tube which are to be analysed with IR spectroscopy after the bake-out process in order to detect outgassed products.