Lessons Learned from the Wide Field Camera 3 TV1 and TV2 Thermal Vacuum Test Campaigns 2008-01-2038
The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument has undergone two complete thermal vacuum tests (TV1 and TV2), during which valuable lessons were learned regarding test configuration, test execution, model capabilities, and modeling practices. The very complex thermal design of WFC3 produced a number of challenging aspects to ground testing with numerous ThermoElectric Coolers and heat pipes, not all of which were functional. Lessons learned during TV1 resulted in significant upgrades to the model capabilities and a change in the test environment approach for TV2. These upgrades proved invaluable during TV2 when pre-test modeling assumptions proved to be false.
Each of the lessons learned relate to one of two following broad statements:
Ensure the design can be tested and that the effect of non-flight like conditions is well understood, particularly with respect to non passive devices (TECs, Heat Pipes, etc)
Ensure that the model is sufficiently detailed and is capable of predicting off-nominal behavior and the power dissipation of any thermal devices, especially TECs
This paper outlines a number of the lessons learned over these two test campaigns with respect to the thermal design, model, and test configuration and presents recommendations for future tests.