Slice of History - Ten-Foot Space Simulator Thermal Testing
In early 1989, a series of thermal tests were conducted on the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) Instrument, which was part of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS).
The MLS System Thermal Vacuum (STV) test program was designed to evaluate its thermal integrity and functions in a simulated space environment. It included a 24-hour bakeout, six phases of thermal balance tests, and a thermal cycling test of the instrument in flight configuration, using a variety of heaters and lamps.
This photo shows the Ten-Foot Space Simulator located in Building 248, with a quartz lamp array approximately seven feet tall. This array faced the primary reflector during testing and helped to heat the chamber to 80°C (176°F). The vacuum chamber shroud was lowered over the test fixture, and the chamber walls and floor were maintained at -100°C to -179°C during testing.
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