The development of spacecraft systems and sub-systems requires high level testing, which simulates the harsh environment of space, e.g. vacuum, extreme temperatures or temperature gradients to state the robustness of the material and design. In addition, thermal-balance tests are performed to verify the thermal model of the systems.
The investigation and reduction of molecular contamination of parts and material is necessary to avoid in-orbit contamination of for example optical instruments. Volatile particles can be emitted e.g. by CFRP structures.
At STI, we offer testing in accordance to ECSS standards in clean room or laboratory clean conditions. We deliver state of the art testing services and holistically support for your testing campaign.
STI test center
At SpaceTech's test center, we can perform important common as well as extraordinary space simulation testing methods.
- Thermal-Vacuum Cycling
- Thermal-Balance Test
- Outgassing measurements with TQCM system and RGA
- Thermal-Ambient Cycling
- Thermal Shock Tests
- Thermal Life Cycle Tests
- Solar Simulation
Six thermal vacuum and two ambient pressure test chambers are available at STI´s test center at the headquarters.
Ø = 1500 mm
Ø = 400 mm
Ø = 300 mm
Ø = 200 mm
L = 820 mm
L = 900 mm
H = 400 mm
L = 800 mm
Next to each chamber, areas for preparation are available. These areas include clean laboratory tables, tools and standard material, i.e. tapes. If required, STI can provide internet connection via Wi-Fi or LAN ports.
At STI, we set new standards in space simulation testing with the use of oustanding equipment, examples are::
- Thermal-Quartz-Crystal-Microbalance (TQCM): State of the art TQCM system by CrystalTek USA to measure the mass of outgassed volatile particles - contamination control inside the vacuum chamber.
- RGA of Pfeiffer Vacuum: Mass spectrometer with world wide acknowledgement to measure the types of atoms and molecules in the vacuum system and the partial pressure of molecules and the presence low density gas like Helium during leakage tests.
- The neonsee solar simulator uses unique steady-state solar simulation technology that allows for thermal balance testing.
- For performance measurements of multi-layer-insulation (MLI), STI has developed a test bench.
Please find more information about our space simulation test equipment on the facility site.
- Grace-FO: Laser Ranging Instrument (LRI), Coarse Earth & Solar Sensor (CESS)
- ISS: ICARUS antenna, Biolab Equipment, Electro-Magnetic-Levitator (EML), Pars, CIMON
- Sentinel-3: Optical baffles
- Sentinel-5: Calibration Subsystem (CAS)
- EXOMARS: Solar coupons
- OneWeb: Deployment mechanisms
- JUICE: Rime antenna