Sensors for Satellite Testing
PCB’s measurement expertise for satellites and their components includes four main areas; vibration testing in thermal vacuum conditions, force limited vibration (FLV) testing, pyroshock testing for stage separation and launch induced acoustic stress testing.
Low Outgassing accelerometers and cables withstand exposure to the high vacuum level of a space environment. Since most satellites are instrumented during assembly, PCB’s space rated sensors and cables can be cycled through thermal vacuum chambers, used for subsequent vibration testing and then used during flight without the risk of releasing contaminants from outgassing.
PCB® Series 350 ICP® mechanically isolated, electrically filtered pyroshock accelerometers are ideal for measuring harsh pyroshock events such as those found in metal-to-metal impacts, explosive bolts, impact tools, and stage separation testing. This mechanical isolation, coupled with an internal 2-pole electrical filter, built into the ICP® circuitry, tailors the overall accelerometer response to assure data quality to frequencies as high as 10 kHz. Depending on the specific model, accelerations in excess of 50 kg can be successfully measured. These modern designs, with their internal elastomeric isolation materials are verified through calibration to remain dynamically linear and are enabling piezoelectric accelerometers to operate in increasingly severe acceleration environments.
Force limited vibration (FLV) test systems from PCB meet the requirements for limiting the reaction force between the shaker and unit under test in random vibration testing. The use of piezoelectric, 3-component force sensors facilitates easy and accurate measurement of input force.
PCB® prepolarized ICP® microphones are used for acoustic stress testing either in reverberant acoustic test chambers or with a direct field acoustic test system, outdoor on a launch pad with water resistant capabilities, or during flight to record high dB noise from rocket engines or airflow.