The Qualification test program of the payload ended these days. This program performed from January 2007 to June 2007 by EADS/CASA in ESA/ESTEC facilities allowed to acquire a full qualification of the payload.
Tests commenced with a Short Integrated System to check the correct functional behavior of the payload. Test was followed by the measurement of mass properties: mass, center of gravity, inertias (see Picture 1).
Then, the payload was moved to the acoustic hamber where the acoustic test campaign was conducted (see Picture 2). This test was completed successfully and the levels experienced by the subsystems are all well enveloped by the subsystem qualification levels.
The operations to move the payload into the LSS and to deploy the arms (see Picture 3) was quite a feat due to the complexity of the mechanical operations.
After installation, a Thermal Balanced Test was completed with a good behavior of thermal active control. Then a Thermal Vacuum with different cold and hot cases allowed to test the correct switch on, switch off and running and different Interfaces of all the equipments of he Payload.
The integration of the star tracker, provided by the Satellite CNES/Thales team, performed before the EMC allow to check the auto-compatibility of the payload with the star tracker: no perturbation was noted on the Payload images while the star tracker was running. For this aim, an additional shielding – RF tape and an external tent was developed, manufactured and installed on the star Tracker by the satellite team to ensure no EMC problem. The following Image Validation test campaign with controlled L-Band radiation sources allow to perform the first snapshots with sources never made with the Payload: these images with excellent performances allow to reassure team about payload capabilities to retrieve the physical mission measurements.
At the end of this test program, a joint ESA/CASA/CNES/Thales PLM Delivery Review Board (DRB), to assess the completion of the PLM AIT activities and authorize the shipment to Cannes was successfully held on June 6 and 7.
The payload was shipped from ESTEC to Cannes by truck on June 14 and is now physically in Thales Alcatel Cannes premises. After some post shipment an stand alone tests at Payload level, the satellite integration is will start end June 2007 by the Platform and Payload mating.