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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.

component testing

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.