Testing of Thermal Protections for Missions in Sun Proximity



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


TAS-I has been involved in the development of the thermal protections for the two most challenging missions of the European Space Agency to Sun proximity, i.e. BepiColombo, which will orbit Mercury, reaching a minimum distance from the Sun of 0.31 Astronomical Units (AU) at perihelion, and Solar Orbiter, which will provide close-up, high-latitude observations of the Sun from as close as 0.28 AU at perihelion. Such short distances from the Sun impose on the spacecraft harsh thermal environments, which have been the focus of specific verification campaigns for both programs. This paper presents the testing processes of the two programs, along with main challenges faced during the design development and the relevant lessons learnt.


Andrea Ferrero, Thales Alenia Space Italia (TAS-I), Italy
Enrico Sacchi, Thales Alenia Space Italia (TAS-I), Italy
ICES203: Thermal Testing
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017.


thermal balance test, thermal vacuum test, high temperature