Test Facilities : Major Equipments

Those facilities (see below) are dedicated to expose space instruments or complete small satellites to representative space conditions in permanent or transient thermal environment.
A vacuum state (secondary vacuum of about 1e-06 mbar) can be achieved with multiple pumping systems:

  • Primary pumping systems allow first to reach a primary vacuum level of ≈1e-02 mbar within a period of 2-3 hours
  • Turbomolecular pumps are then permanently activated during the test campaign and a secondary vacuum better than 5e-06 mbar is generally obtained after a couple of hours
  • A cryopanel is fed with LN2 during the whole vacuum phase for trapping contaminants
  • Upon request, cryopumps can also be proposed to trap transient material outgassing and to obtain a steady state vacuum level better than 5e-07 mbar.

The temperature excursion is obtained with dedicated home made TCUs (Thermal Conditioning Units). Simulated hot and cold cases are achieved with temperature controlledgaseous nitrogen (GN2) feeding thermal panels inside the vacuum chamber. A temperature range from - 150°C to 100 °C can be obtained on the thermal shrouds. Each panel can be individually driven to a specific temperature profile. For colder applications, the thermal system isswitched to liquid mode (LN2) and uniform temperature around 77K are measured.

The set-point of the various temperatures is initiated by the test operator, from the control room, using the customized HMI (Human Machine Interface), interfacing with the system PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) based on a Siemens S7-300 controller.
For each CSL vacuum chamber, a multiple thermal channels system is implemented for simulating environment with non uniformly distributed heat loads. With classical external heat loads, temperature uniformity better than 5°C on the shrouds are generally observed. Each thermal shroud is made by a copper panel, black coated on its inner face, and covered with MLI blankets on its outer face to limit the parasitic external heat loads. PT100, thermocouples, thermistances and diode sensors are used for monitoring or controlling the temperatures. 


Thermal Vacuum Chambers

Focal 6.5Focal 5Focal 3Focal 2Focal 1.5


Focal6.5 100x100


Focal5 100x100


Focal3 100x100


Focal2 100x100


Focal1.5 100x100

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Mechanical tests

Cryogenic applications

Climatic Chamber

2016U shaker4522LX shaker


shaker 2016 U



shaker 4522 LX




LINDE 100x100



KOCH 100x100


BIA Chamber


climatic chamber100x100


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Contact(s) : Isabelle Tychon itychon@ulg.ac.be