Preparations for Thermal Balance Testing of Planck FM#1
8 March 2006The final preparations of the Planck satellite and the cryogenic test chamber are being made at Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL), Belgium.
The flight model of Planck will be closed inside the vacuum chamber as of Friday 10 March for a 17 days thermal test campaign. The primary objectives of the test are to verify the thermal design of the service module, a so-called thermal balance test, and the acceptance test of one of the two cryogenic sorption coolers. For the latter test, temperatures as low as -251 °C (18 Kelvin) will be achieved by the cooler.
As of 14:00 today the spacecraft was powered off and tent installation started. All went nominal; thermal strap was installed correctly; sensors checked OK and the thermal tent cover was also installed. Connecting cooling lines and sniff check is in progress to make sure there is no leak.