GPM Completes Thermal Vacuum Testing
The GPM Core Observatory completed thermal vacuum testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. on Jan. 16, 2013. After twelve days to carefully remove the testing equipment, stow the High Gain Antenna and GPM Microwave Imager, and lift the spacecraft out of the thermal vacuum test chamber, the spacecraft was moved back to the clean room on Jan. 28.
Beginning on Dec. 4, 2012, the test chamber with the GPM Core Observatory inside had all its air evacuated and went through four cycles of hot and cold temperature changes to simulate the harsh conditions of space the satellite will encounter as it orbits the light and dark sides of Earth.
"The testing went really well, thanks to the great team who built and tested the spacecraft and instruments" said Deputy Project Manager Candace Carlisle of Goddard. The team worked around the clock and through the December holidays to resolve minor anomalies and keep the test program on schedule.
Next, the GPM spacecraft will undergo radio frequency compatibility testing with the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) network used to communicate during the mission.