Thermal Vacuum Test of the Inter-orbit Communication System - Exposed Facility Subsystem
A thermal vacuum test of the Inter-orbit Communication System - Exposed Facility Subsystem (ICS-EF) is being conducted in the 8m diameter Space Chamber at Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC).
The Inter-orbit Communication System (ICS) is a communication system of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" that allows two-way communication of data, images, and voice between Kibo and TKSC, via JAXA’s Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS). The ICS-EF is composed of equipment such as a DRTS-oriented antenna, various types of sensors, and a transmitter-receiver.
Temperatures in space range from 120°C in the sunlight to -150°C in the shade. Without air convection to transfer heat, surface areas exposed to the sunlight quickly heat and shaded surfaces get cold.
Thermal Vacuum Test
In this test, with the ICS-EF on/off, we verify that various parts maintain their temperature within specified ranges in orbit, tested under simulated thermal conditions of space, using a liquid nitrogen panel for refrigeration, and a sunlight simulator for heating. Simultaneously, we ensure that the onboard equipment performs as expected under the thermal vacuum conditions.
This data will be evaluated and compared with the simulation results of the thermal mathematical model generated in the design phase. After the evaluation, the thermal mathematical model will be corrected, if necessary, to make it more realistic. The test will continue until the end of March.
Last Updated: March 30, 2004