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ISTSat-1 successfully passes thermal vacuum tests

by IT on 29-03-2023
Ev4Energy project Electric Vehicle Network Applications and Services Embedded Systems group Energy networks

ISTSat-1, the first Portuguese CubeSat, has completed its crucial structural qualification and thermal-vacuum tests as part of the Fly Your Satellite! Programme, and now it‘s ready for the next destination: space.

Bake out was also run on the CubeSat, for several hours at more than 50°C to ensure outgassing of any volatile compounds. The ISTSat-1 was subjected to 4 thermal cycles in vacuum conditions, in order to simulate the environment that the CubeSat will be subject to in space and that it can properly function in such a harsh environment.

The Portuguese team, led by our researcher Rui Rocha (IT-IST), traveled to the CubeSat Support Facility (CSF) in ESEC (Redu, Belgium) last February to perform the Vibration tests. After successful completion, they traveled again to the CSF from 13 to 24 March to undergo the phase of Environmental Tests in the Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVAC), which aims at verifying the correct functionality of the spacecraft under space-representative thermal and vacuum environments. It is a major milestone for any space object built on Earth, from small Cubesats to large spacecraft.

Following the travel back to Lisbon the students will be executing a Full Functional Test to verify the correct functionality of their CubeSat in preparation for flight, then, following last arrangement on the PFM, the final Flight Acceptance Review with flight authorities and ESA supervision will be conducted. 


Image credits: ESA

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