MXT and ECLAIRs instrument for Franco-Chinese satellite SVOM have finalized their assembly at CNES TOULOUSE. They are now ready to undergo its testing phase – a complete torture phase for space components.
The MXT instrument, assembled, one of the 4 instruments of the Franco Chinese SVOM satellite which aims to localize and study gamma ray bursts in X-ray domain. .
« Every element of the instruments, whether it is MXT or the ECLAIRs telescope have been manufactured by industrials and laboratories in France or in Europe” explains François Gonzalez, Project Manager SVOM. “They arrived at CNES in loose parts, and we had to be assembled .
Instruments’ cameras and radiators have been integrated this 2021 summer in the CNES clean rooms (see photos) . they are now ready to leave for space with expected performances validated.
Torture phase :
The 2 « assembled » instruments have performed a complete testing campaign (from June to October 2021 ) which validate their good performance, but mostly their resistance to extreme conditions which are expected during the lift off and in space. Vibration and shock tests, electromagnetic compatibility, thermal vacuum tests as well : for 3 to 4 weeks, 24h/24.
MXT and ECLAIRs have been submitted to temperature variations within a range of -60°C & +50°C. “A critical phase, which will be controlled permanently by CNES specialists”.
Beginning of 2022, MXT & ECLAIRs instruments will be sent to China where they will be installed on the SVOM Satellite for lift-off planned mid 2023.
Avoid « Heat Strokes »
Among others to function correctly, MXT detector , at the heart of the instrument, must be maintained at -65°C precisely for an optimal performance. The instrument will be capable of regulating its own temperature even though the satellite, in space, will be subject to extreme temperature variations between -150°C and +150°C. The architecture of the instrument itself allow to control its temperature at its core with Thermal Electrical Coolers piloted by an onboard software and with Propylene Heat Pipes (aluminums profiles filled with an inert gas) transfer the excessive heat to a radiator and evacuate it to space.
ECLAIRs instrument uses also a heat pipes network in order to maintain its 6400 detectors fixed at the focal plane at -20°C and transfer the heat to space with a large aluminum radiator.
Euro Heat Pipes with its Airbus Defense & Space partner were responsible for the Design & Manufacturing of both MXT & ECLAIRs radiator and thermal bus sub-assemblies which participate at the good function and performance of the instrument optics.
Copyright CNES – Source : https://spacegate.cnes.fr/fr/quezako-le-puzzle-est-termine
Translation by Alexandre van Haute / Karine Mercier