The Structure Subsystem provides mechanical support and alignment for all flight equipment, including the Huygens probe. In addition to its skeletal function, it provides thermal conductivity, serves as an equipotential surface and is an electrical grounding reference. It is also used as shielding from radio frequency interference and protects other spacecraft equipment from radiation and micrometeoroids. Before launch, it provided attachment points for ground handling.
The Mechanical Device Subsystems supply equipment to the spacecraft that provides non-feedback controlled motion. These subsystems supply a number of mechanisms for separating Cassini from the Centaur launch vehicle, as well as all of the required pyrotechnic devices and initiators. They also provide the deployable Magnetometer Science Boom Assembly (MAG); an articulated platform for the redundant reaction wheel; Thermal Louvre Assemblies (TLAs) for passive heat transfer; and Variable Radioisotope Heater Units (VRHUs).
Last Update: 10 Jun 2004