Columbus Launch Preparation - Final System ATCS Tests Summary and Lessons Learned 2008-01-2033
Final preparation and configuration of the Columbus module at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) required the performance of system level tests with the Active Thermal Control System (ATCS). These tests represented the very last system level activities having been concluded on the Columbus module before handover to NASA for space shuttle integration.
Those very last tests, performed with the ATCS comprised the final ATCS Leakage Test, the final calibration and adjustment of the Water Flow Selection Valves (WFSV) and Water On/Off Valves (WOOV) as well as a sophisticated ATCS Residual Air Removal test.
The above listed tests have been successfully performed and test data evaluated for verification closeout as well as input delivery for operational Flight Rules and Procedures.
Some of the above mentioned tests have been performed the first time hence, a succeeding lessons learned collection followed in order to improve the perspectives of future tests. Additionally, test cases had to be partly modified in order to cope with the inevitable influences on-ground for example due to the 1-g environment.
The present paper gives an overview of the different tests prepared, configured and conducted on the Columbus Protoflight Model (PFM) ATCS before handover to NASA for module integration into the space shuttle cargo bay. It provides further on lessons learned and summary of improvements proposed for similar tests to be prepared on comparable active thermal control systems.