Vacuum Test Chambers

Engineering: Vacuum Test Chambers

LASP engineers conduct extensive in-house testing on instruments to determine that they are ready for deployment into the sometimes inhospitable conditions of space. (Courtesy LASP)

Engineering products that will endure the extremes of the space environment is a challenge.  Engineers need to test and condition their instruments and components to ensure that they will function properly when exposed to designated temperatures, humidity levels, radiation levels, acceleration, acoustic levels, and other conditions. To perform this pre-flight testing, LASP uses vacuum test chambers.

LASP has ten vacuum systems for environmental testing and conditioning of space instruments. Oil-free roughing pumps and the cleanliness of the systems is monitored with Residual Gas Analyzers and Thermo-Electric Quartz Crystal Micro Balances.

Jimmy (in the CASA Astrophysical Research Laboratory)

  • Chamber: 156-inch diameter x 168=inch long
  • Pump: Three 20” cryogenic pumps, plus a multiple stage rough pump. Capable of pumping chamber down to low 10⁻⁷ torr
  • Thermal Capabilities: The chamber has 5 independently controlled thermal zones and two large liquid nitrogen getter plates for contamination mitigation
  • Temperature Range: -180°C to +150°C
  • Use: Jimmy is a thermal vacuum facility but can also be used as a bake out facility

Mobi

  • Chamber: 60-inch diameter x 72-inch long
  • Pump: 22-inch cryogenic pump capable of 10⁻⁶ to 10⁻⁸ torr used for environmental testing
  • Thermal Capabilities: Thermal shroud and thermal platen
  • Temperature Range: -70°C to +80°C
  • Use: Environmental testing

Bemco (two identical chambers available)

  • Chamber: 30-inch diameter x 60-inch long
  • Pump: 8-inch cryogenic pump capable of 10⁻⁸ torr
  • Thermal Capabilities: Thermal platen
  • Temperature Range: -70°C to +80°C
  • Use: Environmental testing

CTE2

  • Chamber: 30-inch diameter x 60-inch long
  • Pump: 8-inch cryogenic pump capable of 10⁻⁸ torr equipped with a vacuum monochromator and associated FUV and MUV light sources
  • Temperature Range: Varies as necessary
  • Use: Detector and Optical component testing

CTE3

  • Chamber: 32-inch long x 24 ” wide x 20-inch tall
  • Pump: Turbo pump (550 L/s) capable of 10⁻⁸ torr also equipped with a vacuum EUV monochromator and associated EUV light sources
  • Temperature Range: Varies as necessary
  • Use: Extreme Ultraviolet Detector Characterization

Vacuum bake-out facility (BOT)

  • Chamber: 22-inch diameter by 42-inch long
  • Pump: 6-inch turbo pump capable of 10⁻⁸ torr
  • Temperature Range: Up to 105 degrees C
  • Use: Vacuum bake-out of space flight instrument components

Vacuum bake-out facility (BOT II)

  • Chamber 30- inch diameter x 35”
  • Pump: 8-inch turbo pump capable of 10⁻⁸ torr
  • Temperature Range: Up to 150 degrees C
  • Use: Vacuum bake-out of flight instrument components

Bell jar

  • Chamber: 18-inch diameter by 6-inch tall
  • Pump: turbo pump capable of 10⁻⁷ torr
  • Temperature Range: Varies as necessary
  • Use: Life testing

Test Facilities
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