Possible Modifications of ESA's Large Space Simulator to Produce a 3-Metre Diameter Beam of 10 Solar Constant 2002-01-2328
One of ESA's scientific cornerstone missions exploring the Solar system will be the spacecraft BepiColombo traveling to Mercury, the Sun's innermost planet. BepiColombo will have to survive direct sunlight ten times more intense than in the Earth's vicinity, but also the infrared rays from the planet's surface, which exceeds 400°C at its hottest point. A number of tests have to be performed in this environment.
At this moment, there is no solar simulation facility available in Europe which produces a beam of 3-meter diameter with 10 Solar Constant This paper investigates possibilities to simulate this environment of 10 Solar Constant for testing the spacecraft BepiColombo on Earth.
The possibility to modify ESA's Large Space Simulator (LSS) (Fig. 1) located at ESTEC in the Netherlands is investigated. Trade-off between different solutions is discussed. A new optical layout concept is proposed and the resulting performance is predicted. Drivers such as the modification costs and facility down time during configuration changes are also discussed, as well as possibilities of building a small high-intensity solar simulation facility for sample testing.