GPM Core Observatory Centrifuge Testing
NASA technicians spun the GPM satellite up to just over 10 RPM at Goddard Space Flight Center’s High-Capacity Centrifuge facility on March 31st, 2011. At that speed, the spin exerted a lateral pressure of 2.4 G’s, or 2.4 times the force of gravity on the satellite.
Spin tests such as these are used to determine whether the forces of launch could adversely affect hardware we put into space, and to test spacecraft chassis design.
In this case, a combination of flight hardware parts and the so-called mass model were spun. The mass model simulates the final size, shape and weight distribution of the satellite and it’s component sensors, fuel, maneuvering thrusters, processing and control equipment.