Cámaras de simulación espacial para satélites completos: Los retos de alto vacío y temperaturas extremas.

Miquel Galán, Marina Cazador


During any satellite development phase, many operational factors can only be experimentally determined by testing under the most extreme environmental conditions that will be encountered in its life. Simulating the different temperatures, thermal loads and vacuum conditions allows analyzing the suitability of new materials, components and systems for these extreme conditions. In a space project, thermal vacuum testing reaches 70% of the total testing costs. They are the most similar conditions to the real ones that will be encountered in the outer space. In this article, the function of both the thermal and vacuum subsystems are explained and analyzed. Thermal control units are the most fundamental part in a space simulation chamber; they must cover the required extreme temperature range with the required heating and cooling speed. The vacuum subsystem must allow reaching the required operating pressure within the specified time, handling significant degassing loads both from the satellite and the large exposed surfaces inside the chamber.

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