Status Report

CONTOUR Status Report January 21, 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
January 22, 2002
Filed under , ,

Last week – a major milestone was reached, environmental
testing began on the spacecraft!! On Monday, January 14th,
the spacecraft was put in final configuration in the cleanroom,
and then moved to the vibration facility at APL. Our picture of
the week shows the spacecraft mounted on the upper vibration
table for the z-axis (thrust) test. The test sequence consists of
a long day of extensive functional testing of all the spacecraft
systems, followed the next day by the actual vibration test. The
day of the vibration test is also quite long. Accelerometers
have been placed throughout the spacecraft in specific
locations determined by our lead structural engineer. The
vibration test starts with a low level survey to check out the
operation of all the accelerometers, and to get a first cut
measure of any resonance. This data is analyzed, and the next
step is to do a quarter level vibration. The process is repeated
for half level and then finally a full level vibration. So, while the
actual vibration test takes about a minute, the set-ups, analysis
and checks require about a day to complete. Following the day of
vibration testing is a day of conducting the same functional tests
as those run just prior to the vibration test. This is to determine if
the exposure to the vibration damaged/impacted any system on board. This
pattern was repeated during the week – Tuesday and Thursday were
functional testing, the z-axis was tested Wednesday, and the y-axis
was tested Friday. So far, the testing is going very well….

SpaceRef staff editor.