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LADEE- Thermal Monitoring & Heater Control (TMHC)/CAL ROD Cage System
Ladee in test chamber

HIGHLIGHT: TThe LADEE project required a system that would simulate dynamic lunar and solar heating environments during Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing of the LADEE spacecraft (SC). A nine-sided cage was designed and built to closely surround the SC, and is equipped with resistive heaters and sensors for thermal feedback. Control was implemented via a Labview interface controlling two racks of power supplies and multiplexed temperature measurement. The TMHC/Cal Rod Cage were subsequently used successfully during TVAC testing to take the LADEE SC through four thermal cycles, three thermal balances, and six transient thermal tests designed to simulate dynamic thermal conditions on Lunar orbit.

The TMHC/Cal Rod Cage are now fixtures in the ARC N244 Engineering Evaluation Lab and represent a step forward in ARC spacecraft processing capability. The system is flexible and can be reconfigured for use with future missions.

TMHC Features:

  • 18 channels of AC power for cal rods, up to 3kW each.
  • 12 channels of DC power for resistive heaters, up to 540W each.
  • 14kW of UPS backup
  • Manual or automated temperature control via .csv file
  • 200 channels of thermocouple data logging and realtime display
  • Graphical and tabular temperature display

BACKGROUND: The Lunar Atmosphere & Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) project’s mission is to orbit in close proximity to the moon and characterize the lunar atmosphere and suspended lunar dust, as well as demonstrate an innovative high bandwidth laser-based communication system. LADEE is scheduled to launch from NASA Wallops Flight Facility in late 2013 on a Minotaur V launch vehicle.

PROGRAM FUNDING: Science Mission Directorate (SMD), Lunar Quest Program (LQP)

Brett Pugh – LADEE Thermal Lead
Bruce White – LADEE EGSE Lead, TMHC Design Lead
Zion Young – LADEE MGSE Lead
Mark Campbell – Cal Rod Cage Mechanical Design Lead
David Bui – TMHC Engineer, Software Design
Wen Tsai – TMHC Software Design
Ariel Gatti – Thermal Analysis
Lynn Hofland – TMHC/Cal Rod Cage Wiring Fabrication/Integration
Jerry Wang – TMHC/Cal Rod Cage Wiring Fabrication/Integration
Frank Pichay – TMHC/Cal Rod Cage Wiring Fabrication/Integration

ARC POC: Bruce White