Event Title

Still and Chill: Characterizing a Vibration Isolated SmallSat TVAC Chamber

Session

Weekend Session 3: Science/Mission Payloads - Research & Academia I

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Vibration isolation optical breadboards are commonplace in labs that perform astronomical and high precision optics; they provide the physical structure required to build up and test a system, while also closely simulating the vibrational scenarios found in a space based observatory. Vibrational isolation is useful for optics that require a high degree of precision, such as deep space laser communications and interferometry for exoplanet detection, to achieve their scientific objectives. As precision optics become more common for CubeSat and SmallSat structures, ground based functional testing in vacuum requires new levels of vibration isolation to validate spacecraft performance. To do this, the entire set-up including the optics breadboard that is 36 x 72 in., 4.3 in., with 1/4-20 taps was placed in a 48" diameter x 108.51" long vacuum chamber. This chamber incorporates a classical optical bench independently and actively supported to suppress vibration. Exterior and interior accelerations were measured to quantify both laboratory environment and the suppression performance of the system. This measurement was performed on sub-nanometer scale using a basic 3-axis accelerometer. We present results of the chamber vibration isolation as a function of temperature and input disturbance amplitude and frequency. Actively vibration isolated thermal vacuum tests like the ones described and tested here will enable testing of a new generation of SmallSats and CubeSats with precision optics including acting fast steering mirror systems and deformable mirrors.

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Aug 6th, 5:45 PM

Still and Chill: Characterizing a Vibration Isolated SmallSat TVAC Chamber

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Vibration isolation optical breadboards are commonplace in labs that perform astronomical and high precision optics; they provide the physical structure required to build up and test a system, while also closely simulating the vibrational scenarios found in a space based observatory. Vibrational isolation is useful for optics that require a high degree of precision, such as deep space laser communications and interferometry for exoplanet detection, to achieve their scientific objectives. As precision optics become more common for CubeSat and SmallSat structures, ground based functional testing in vacuum requires new levels of vibration isolation to validate spacecraft performance. To do this, the entire set-up including the optics breadboard that is 36 x 72 in., 4.3 in., with 1/4-20 taps was placed in a 48" diameter x 108.51" long vacuum chamber. This chamber incorporates a classical optical bench independently and actively supported to suppress vibration. Exterior and interior accelerations were measured to quantify both laboratory environment and the suppression performance of the system. This measurement was performed on sub-nanometer scale using a basic 3-axis accelerometer. We present results of the chamber vibration isolation as a function of temperature and input disturbance amplitude and frequency. Actively vibration isolated thermal vacuum tests like the ones described and tested here will enable testing of a new generation of SmallSats and CubeSats with precision optics including acting fast steering mirror systems and deformable mirrors.