Environmental testing of the Petite Amateur Navy Satellite (PANSAT)
Overstreet, Paul J.
Ross, I. Michael
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Any complex and expensive system requires testing to ensure adequate performance. Communications satellites require extensive testing for two additional reasons: (1) they operate in an environment considerably different from that in which they were built, and (2) after launch, they are inaccessible to routine maintenance and repair. The objectives of testing is not necessarily to duplicate the space environment but to approach it sufficiently so that any spacecraft that passes the tests will operate successfully in its designed space environment. The major features of the space environment that are difficult to simulate exactly are zero gravity, high vacuum, solar radiation, particle radiation and extreme temperatures. This document describes the environmental test program and test results for the PANSAT program. PANSAT is the acronym for the Petite Amateur Navy Satellite, which is a small communications satellite under development by the Space Systems Academic Group at the Naval Postgraduate School. PANSAT subsystems were subjected to thermal vacuum and random vibration testing as part of the overall environmental test program. Satellite launch, as a Shuttle secondary payload via the Space Transportation System (STS) Small Self-contained Payload (SSCP) program, is planned for October, 1998
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