Find out the project developped for ESA Space Simulator !
ACS consolidated know-how in space simulation systems has enabled our customers to face challenging projects, as for example the Space Simulator supplied to ESA (European Space Agency). The European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), is the centre of reference for satellite testing in Europe; it boasts a large Space Simulator, a high vacuum facility with one of the largest solar simulators in the world.
In order to increase the productivity of the ESTEC site, in 2009 ESA, decided to modify an old vertical space simulator (diameter of around 1,5 meters and depth of 3), tuning it into a horizontal one and to complete the facility with a smaller solar simulator. One of the aims of the project was to test components of the BEP Colombo satellite, whose launch was planned in 2015 and whose trajectory was to pass within a very short distance from Mercury.
ACS has been responsible for creating the new shroud, a cold plate, the thermal control unit (LN2 and GN2) for the shroud and a thermoregulation control unit for the cold plate.
The simulation inside the VTC 1.5 envisages, among the main characteristics:
- High Vacuum in the 10-7 mbar field
- Shroud temperature: ambient/-190°C in LN2 flooding mode
- Shroud temperature: -150/+150° C in pressurized GN2 circulation mode
- Solar simulation 15kW/m2 over a target area of 0.5 m2 for a total of 7,5 kW dissipated energy
- Presence of 3 liquid cold plates in the field -60...+125°C
Other specific characteristics include the duration of the continuous 2000h test and the "unattended mode" operating mode, with implications for the equipement reliability.
Angelantoni space simulation expertise in all the functioning modes required by the specifications (flooding, pressurized GN2 circulation and indirect cooling systems), the high automation standard and the interface, offered a more than exhaustive solutions for the specification requirements.
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The SMS alarm system made it possible to meet the safety needs in "unattended mode", with a feature already implemented succesfully in the past. The powerful graphic interface developpedin WinCC was in line with customer requirements.
"Last week we had the final acceptance review for the new thermal generator your company delivered to the Test Center of the European Space Agency. Let me express my thanks to the Angelantoni team for the excellent work carried out under this contract. The performance of the delivered system fullfill all our expectations and we are convinced that it will serve well for the coming years.
It has been a pleasure to work with Angelantoni and I am sure that we will have the opportunity to work together again."
Gaetan Piret, Head of ESTEC Test Center Division - 1st November 2011
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