Electrical Testing Successful
6 September 2005With under 50 days to launch Venus Express has passed another milestone with the successful completion of the System Verification Test 2 (2 September 2005) which marks the end of main electrical functional testing.
To arrive at this milestone the team worked well together in order to clear the last hurdles including final electrical wiring activities.
In order to accommodate the full complement of tests planned to be run by the Flight Control Team in ESOC, the test has been conducted in double shift. The daily process was as follows:
08:15 - 09:00
|Swtich on spacecraft and initial configuration|
09:00 - 21:00
|Commanding of the Spacecraft from the MOC team in ESOC|
21:00 - 22:00
|Local team reconfigure spacecraft and switch off|
*Note Baikonur Time = UTC + 6 hours
The first day of the SVT2 was a full simulation of the LEOP (Low Earth Orbit Phase) scenario - an important step in validating the readiness of both the MOC and the spacecraft for launch.
This was followed by a simulated separation of the spacecraft from the launcher, which automatically starts an on-board sequence bringing the spacecraft to life by, among other things, priming the propulsion system and deploying the Solar Array Wings. At the end of this on-board sequence ESOC took control of the Spacecraft and performed a sequence of manoeuvres required to safely get the Spacecraft on its way to Venus.
Subsequent testing saw the direct command of individual on-board units, including for example the avionics subsystem, the communications subsystem, as well as all payloads. In this way the Flight Control Team has been able to validate the capability of the Mission Operations Centre to command the individual units of all subsystems, as well as the capability to receive and properly display all generated on-board telemetry data.
The spacecraft is now on the alignment measuring adaptor which allows a measurement of the final spacecraft optical positioning. At the same time the Solar Array installation crew have arrived and started their preparations for this activity. Everything is still moving forward on time.