M.Sc. Seminar, Yoel Arcos: "Optimized Design of a Thermal Vacuum Testbed for Nanosatellite Verification Test"

19 Feb 2020
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Classroom 165, ground floor, Library, Aerospace Eng.


Before launching any satellite into orbit, a verification test procedure is required, with one of the critical environmental tests being the thermal vacuum (TV) test. However, many low-budget nanosatellite projects, mostly led by universities, decide to spare the expenses of this high cost testing procedure. Others may perform the test using superfluous infrastructure, with a testing process unsuited specifically for nanosatellites.

In this work, guidelines for designing a designated TV chamber for nanosatellites are given, so that a low cost test infrastructure could be constructed and allow the performance of qualification and acceptance tests of nanosatellites. The common standards for TV testing procedure will be reviewed and compared.

Then, the thermal behavior of a nanosatellite is examined using a thermal analysis. With the established thermal conditions, a thermal analysis of a TV chamber is used to compare different methods of maintaining the nanosatellite in these conditions. It is shown that the temperature regime of an orbiting nanosatellite is relatively small, and is easy to emulate in a test facility. For their small size and limited temperature range, nanosatellites can be tested at a system level in a conduction-based facility - reducing the required infrastructure cost significantly in comparison to a radiation-based facility. Work towards MSc