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Feasibility of DLR’s STG-ET vacuum chamber for simulation of the VLEO environment

Schmidt, Jens and Simon, Jens and Grabe, Martin and Neumann, Andreas (2021) Feasibility of DLR’s STG-ET vacuum chamber for simulation of the VLEO environment. In: Proceedings of the 1ST INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VERY LOW EARTH ORBIT MISSIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES, 1, pp. 1-22. 1ST INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VLEO MISSIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES, 2021-06-28 - 2021-06-29, Manchester, United Kingdom - online.

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Official URL: https://discoverer.space/news-and-events/1st-international-symposium-on-very-low-earth-orbit-missions-and-technologies/

Abstract

Within recent years, the very low earth orbit (VLEO) has seen a massive gain in interest for future long term satellite missions, especially within the field of earth observation and communications. Development of systems for such missions can be challenging, since the residual atmosphere in the desired orbits significantly changes mission requirements. While the existence of a residual atmosphere enables new mission concepts such as air-breathing electric propulsion (ABEP) and aerodynamic maneuvers using satellite surfaces, it also means that satellite systems are exposed to higher grades of erosion due to interaction with the residual molecules, especially atomic oxygen. Therefore, the qualification of such systems becomes increasingly important. This work shall represent the operational capabilities of DLR’s “Simulationsanlage für Treibstrahlen Göttingen – Elektrische Triebwerke” (STG-ET, Simulation Facility for Thrusters Göttingen – Electric Propulsion) facility with respect to the simulation of the VLEO environment. The large volume of the facility gives the possibility to test complete (sub-) systems such as thrusters or satellite components under high vacuum conditions, due to the capabilities of the vacuum pumping system, consisting of multipleturbo- and cryopumps. The operational experience and parameters of such a large-scale research facility as well as concepts for the simulation of the VLEO environment will be discussed. A possible experiment could be the integration of an ion source within the facility to simulate the atmospheric flow conditions present in the VLEO environment, resembling a rarefied gas wind tunnel, similar to experiments on the interaction of satellite surfaces with hypersonic rarefied gas flows conducted at DLR Göttingen in the 1970s, which will also be presented briefly. Such an experimental setup would allow to research the interaction of highly rarefied, ionized gas flows with satellite components and structures. The pumping capabilities of the facility allow the testing of electric propulsion, which has been its main purpose so far but also becomes interesting within the context of ABEP. A special focus shall be put on the possibility to conduct long-term test campaigns within the scope of weeks or months within the facility, which has been proven successfully within previous experimental campaigns for the industry. Therefore, the qualification of systems for the VLEO environment seems feasible within the STG-ET facility. Further activities and facilities at the DLR Göttingen related to electric propulsion and rarefied gas flows will be discussed.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/142795/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Feasibility of DLR’s STG-ET vacuum chamber for simulation of the VLEO environment
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Schmidt, JensUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2052-8588UNSPECIFIED
Simon, JensUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Grabe, MartinUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0361-2734UNSPECIFIED
Neumann, AndreasUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:28 June 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of the 1ST INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VERY LOW EARTH ORBIT MISSIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:1
Page Range:pp. 1-22
Status:Published
Keywords:VLEO, Rarefied Gases, Vacuum Wind Tunnel
Event Title:1ST INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VLEO MISSIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES
Event Location:Manchester, United Kingdom - online
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:28 June 2021
Event End Date:29 June 2021
Organizer:DISCOVERER Project
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Transportation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RP - Space Transportation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Laboratory for Electrical Space Propulsion Trauen
Location: Göttingen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute for Aerodynamics and Flow Technology > Spacecraft, GO
Deposited By: Schmidt, Jens
Deposited On:09 Jul 2021 06:58
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 20:42

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