Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-2430
2009-07-12

Thermal Verification and Testing of Earth Observation and Navigation Platforms: Thales Alenia Space Italia Experience 2009-01-2430

The market pressure towards compression of costs and schedule time affects all the programs activities. For the campaigns of thermal verification in particular, this trend results in the recurring request for shorter and inexpensive test verification campaigns.
This paper presents the Thales Alenia Space-Italia experience in the field of the thermal balance tests, by comparing the test philosophies and approaches followed on various Navigation and Earth Observation satellites, for which TAS-I was fully responsible of the thermal control and of the relevant verification.
The objectives of the comparison are to highlight the critical choices and the relevant lessons learnt in the test definition process, and to promote the standardization and optimization of the thermal verification campaigns, with particular regard to:
  • Evaluation of the uncertainty confidence level and of its evolution along the program cycle.
  • Choice of the number of test phases and of the phases parameters, as a function of the thermal mathematical model verification.
  • Definition of the stabilization criteria for the steady-state phases.
  • Test-oriented modeling.
The comparison involves the programs Express/MD-3 PLM, Radarsat-2, COSMO-SkyMed, Galileo, Kompsat-5 PLM.
The correlation level achieved for each program is presented.
The lessons learnt from the appraisal of both the correlation status and of the criticalities emerged in the analyzed thermal balance tests are presented together with the corresponding recommended approaches.

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