Thermal vacuum testing

Thermal vacuum testing

UPSat has successfully completed all thermal-vacuum and bake out tests on the premises of the University of Patras. The TVAC chamber was custom built for the satellite testing.


Test setup

During TVAC testing the satellite was placed inside the TVAC chamber with Y- facing bottom. Satellite was in contact with an alluminium jig only through the length of its sides.

The TVAC chamber was custom built on purpose, with the following specifications:

  • Vacuum in the chamber up to 10-1 mbar
  • Heat element on the top of the chamber capable of up to 60 degrees Celcius controlled
  • Cooling provided by cooling coil capable of up to -40 degrees Celcius controlled
  • Temperature control by PicoScope and custom electronics.
  • Temperature sensors were attached for monitoring as follows TC-1 – X+ TC-2 – X-TC-3 – Y+ TC-4 – Y-


Satellite configuration for testing

The Item under test is the Protoflight assembly of the satellite with the following modifications from the final flight setup:

  • Protective caps are applied on mNLP probes (shrink wraps as delivered with the SU)
  • Remove before Flight cap on the camera (part of the Image Acquisition – Payload)
  • Umbilical attached on Umbilical port on Y- side of the satellite
  • The Umbilical connector provides communications with OBC, Power to Batteries, and it’s presence signals debug mode to EPS to hinder deployment sequence.


Test Results

The test was completed successfully according to specifications. Below you can see the temperature diagrams for Bake-out and Thermal-Vacuum runs.



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