The bespoke vacuum chamber is part of RAL Space’s National Satellite Test Facility, which is the first of its kind in the UK to enable larger and more complex spacecraft to be tested. It will be used to simulate the extreme vacuum and thermal conditions encountered in space, and consists of a 7m x 12m cylindrical vacuum vessel lined with temperature-controlled panels.
Large Space Test Chamber installed in the National Satellite Test Facility
PPM Power, a leading UK specialist distributor of components and systems for high voltage, pulsed power and power electronics, was chosen to provide RAL Space with compact power units for the chamber’s heaters. As the space for instrumentation was strictly limited, the advanced design of the chosen TDK-Lambda UK Genesys+™ half-rack power supplies enabled all 140 required units to fit into the available volume within the chamber. The programmable units are half the size of traditional single-rack power supplies.
View of one of the populated racks
PPM additionally provided specialist support so that the units may be recessed and angled to allow even tighter placement within the chamber’s setup. The high-density units also provide RAL Space with the benefit of being highly reliable and coming with a long five-year warranty.
“We are delighted to be providing a compact bespoke solution on this exciting project,” said David Thornton, PPM Power Business Development Manager.
Thornton also noted PPM worked closely with power supply manufacturer, TDK-Lambda UK, to deliver the demanding project on time.
The power supplies were specified and procured for RAL Space by teams at STFC’s Technology Department, who were also responsible for executing the design, construction and commissioning of the vacuum heater control systems.
Half-rack TDK PSU in situ.
When fully completed, the National Satellite Test Facility will provide the UK space sector with all the major testing facilities they need under one roof.
Contact the PPM Power team for information on power supplies and to find both the right products and fit for your projects. Contact us.