Commencement of thermal testing of the thermal test model (TTM)

TTM thermal testing began on 10 August at the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center. Assembling the TTM required about four months. In the photos, images of the 13 meter vacuum chamber both before and after the installation of the TTM are depicted. As seen in the second photo, in the middle of the vacuum chamber the TTM is exposed to a 1.5 kW/m^2 source of light intended to mimic sunlight shining brightly on the TTM. Also, while it is difficult to see in the photo, on the side opposite to the side exposed to the pseudo-sunshine an IR tower has been installed in order to mimic both infrared radiation from the earth and reflected sunshine. With this setup we are testing to see the thermal effects on the TTM. ASTRO-H is a large-scale satellite, with 750 temperature sensors installed along with an active-element heat pipe for the SXS. All of this makes for a large-scale test. Because the flight model has already been installed for most of the entire structure, meticulous attention must be paid during the assembly process before the test can be carried out. Along with the ASTRO-H team at ISAS, this experiment is being carried out by members from the Thermal Systems and Fluid Dynamics Group of ISAS and from NEC and AES. The test is carried out around the clock by these members.

The TTM before being placed into the vacuum chamber.

The TTM before being placed into the vacuum chamber.

Adjustment of the location of the beam of "pseudo-sunlight" onto the TTM in the middle of the vacuum chamber.

Adjustment of the location of the beam of “pseudo-sunlight” onto the TTM in the middle of the vacuum chamber.

The TTM after installation into the vacuum chamber. The test is finally ready to begin!

The TTM after installation into the vacuum chamber. The test is finally ready to begin!

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