An intensive environmental test campaign (thermal vacuum and thermal shock) has just been completed at the CIRA Space Qualification Laboratory. The test campaign was executed, on behalf of SITAEL S.p.A., on a Solar Array coupon in the development of the μHETSat microplatform.
The μHETSat, whose weight will be lower than 80kg, will be the first completely electric microsatellite and the test shall verify the bus and the low power Hall Effect Thruster (HT100) behaviour and performance.
Virgin Orbit has been contracted to launch the satellite, in the second half of 2020, with the LauncherOne rocket. Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne is a simple, expendable, launch vehicle designed to place small satellites of up to 500 kg into a wide range of Low Earth Orbits (LEO) at an affordable price. Rather than launching from ground level, LauncherOne is carried to an altitude of approximately 35.000 feet by the Virgin 747-400 carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl.
The tests performed at CIRA led to the qualification the solar panel coupon at the thermal vacuum and thermal shock environmental loads that will affect the panel in the orbital phase.
March 17, 2020