Thermal Testing and Model Correlation of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Observatories
Kim, Jong S.
Teti, Nicholas M.
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The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is a Solar Terrestrial Probes mission comprising four identically instrumented spacecraft that will use Earth’s magnetosphere as a laboratory to study the microphysics of three fundamental plasma processes: magnetic reconnection, energetic particle acceleration, and turbulence. This paper presents the complete thermal balance (TB) test performed on the first of four observatories to go through thermal vacuum (TV) and the mini- balance testing that was performed on the subsequent observatories to provide a comparison of all four. The TV and TB tests were conducted in a thermal vacuum chamber at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. with the vacuum level higher than 1.3 x 10-4 Pa (10-6 torr) and the surrounding temperature achieving -180 °C. Three TB test cases were performed that included hot operational science, cold operational science and a cold survival case. In addition to the three balance cases a two hour eclipse and a four hour eclipse simulation was performed during the TV test to provide additional transient data points that represent the orbit in eclipse (or Earth's shadow) The goal was to perform testing such that the flight orbital environments could be simulated as closely as possible. A thermal model correlation between the thermal analysis and the test results was completed. Over 400 1-Wire temperature sensors, 200 thermocouples and 125 flight thermistor temperature sensors recorded data during TV and TB testing. These temperature versus time profiles and their agreements with the analytical results obtained using Thermal Desktop and SINDA/FLUINT are discussed. The model correlation for the thermal mathematical model (TMM) is conducted based on the numerical analysis results and the test data. The philosophy of model correlation was to correlate the model to within 3 °C of the test data using the standard deviation and mean deviation error calculation. Individual temperature error goal is to be within 5 °C and the heater power goal is to be within 5% of test data. The results of the model correlation are discussed and the effect of some material and interface parameters on the temperature profiles are presented.