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Facilities

The equipment of the NanoSat Lab

The facilities of the NanoSat Lab are designed to carry out assembly, integration and test procedures of up to 6U CubeSat spacecraft and subsystems. As such, the lab's ISO 8 cleanroom area includes all the necessary instrumentation and testing equipment to perform verification and validation procedures. Qualification and acceptance vibration tests in all three axes can be carried out thanks to its vibration table. This equipment allows verifying that the components of a spacecraft (structure, payload, subsystems) are able to withstand the extreme vibrations of a launch vehicle, as well as to measure and validate that the none of the parts present unwanted frequency modes (i.e. mechanical resonances). Furthermore, the cleanroom also encompasses a Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVAC) in which environmental tests can be performed. This cylindrical TVAC, rated at up to 10-5 mbar, is able to simulate the pressure and thermal cycles of a satellite orbit. Its liquid nitrogen cooling circuit and infrared lamps control its internal temperature and are able to reach -196 ºC to +300 ºC.

Installed outside the cleanroom, a Helmoltz Coil System facilitates testing of attitude determination and control subsystems by providing a constant three-axial magnetic field that can be controlled to simulate those in low Earth orbits. The surface of the Helmoltz Coil System is implemented with an air bearing interface to minimise friction with the structure and allow active attitude controllers to be tested in a single axis. In addition, the laboratory has a solder and assembly station area in which the different prototypes are designed and manufactured. This area is also used to verify each board/subsystem independently before their final integration in the spacecraft.