Environmental Testing Campaign: Vibration Day 1

Good morning from the PROVE Pathfinder vibrations team!

Figure 1: The view from our hotel

After a successful journey from Bristol, Pathfinder has made its way to Belgium! Today the team spent their time setting up. The morning consisted of a safety briefing and catching up with the Fly Your Satellite! colleagues that we have come to know well over the last 6 months, it was great to finally meet in person! After this, we then went down to see the facilities at the CSF. We were shown how to correctly kit up in cleanroom gear and then proceeded to clean down all of our hardware with IPA so that it could be moved into the ISO 8 cleanroom.

Figure 2: UoBSat Team welcome sign

The afternoon’s work consisted of the final assembly of Pathfinder, inspections and a Full Functional Test (FFT) to check the status of our hardware after transport. We were delighted when we saw green dots on the visual and thermal infrared camera tests meaning that they had both successfully connected and taken images on a simulated imaging pass.

Figure 3: The vibrations team posed for a picture with the Space Shuttle Atlantis mockup

After completing our FFT and finishing up the day’s work, the team had to then visited the rocket yard and made the most of the sunny weather to take some team photos!

Figure 4: The rocket yard

We took lots of images throughout the day for documenting our procedures and taking references images that can be used for comparison if damage or issues are found later on over the next few weeks of testing. These images can be used to determine if the damage was there already or had been caused in the test. White light was used for inspecting for dust whilst UV light was used to detect any organic material such as fingerprint grease and excess Loctite blue (the thread locker we use for secondary locking on internal bolt threads).

Tomorrow we shall finish up the last of our functional tests and then install the last 2 panels that were left open for the functional tests in case we needed to access the internal electronics for debugging. We shall then start with an x-axis sine burst test!