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Technical Paper

The I/R Thermal Balance Test of Radarsat-2: Approach to Verification / Correlation

Radarsat-2 is a commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite for earth observation. [1] The general stowed configuration is shown in Figure 1. In nominal operation mode, once deployed, the large SAR polarimetric Antenna (i.e. able to transmit and receive both horizontal and vertical polarisations) is inclined of about -29.8° versus the nominal direction of geodetic local surface normal (Right Looking mode). When is necessary to take images of South Pole, nominally not visible from SAR, the S/C must be rotated to the +29.8° position (Left Looking mode). During the Radarsat-2 thermal testing the S/C (PFM) was subjected to a first thermal balance/thermal cycling test in vacuum with simulation of external heat fluxes by means of I/R lamps and additional test heaters. A very complex thermal test configuration was required in order to simulate the continually varying thermal environment imposed by the S/C nominal sun-synchronous orbit and attitude.
Technical Paper

Review of Italsat Thermal Performances Throughout the First Eighteen Months of Operational Life

Italsat F1 is a communication satellite sponsored by the Italian Space Agency and developed by Alenia Spazio. The spacecraft consists with a platform, which provides all the required services, and three payloads: a global beam package, a multibeam package for domestic communication services at 20/30 GHz, and an experimental propagation package at 40/50 GHz which embraces the European continent. Italsat F1 was sent off by an Ariane IV launcher from the Kourou Space Center in French Guyana on January 16th,1991, and it has been operating since February 1991. Having gone through a complete cycle of solstices and equinoxes, Italsat experienced the extreme environmental conditions at its beginning of life. The flight data collected throughout the first year of operational life enabled a review of the spacecraft thermal performances. This paper presents an overview of in-orbit observed temperatures.