Prelaunch Instrument Testing

Cold Shroud mounted inside TVAC

Cylindrical copper cold shroud being mounted inside the Thermal VAcuum Chamber (TVAC)

Instrument testing was carried out prior to launch in order to test the instruments in a simulated space environment. In September 2002, the FTS underwent acceptance tests carried out by ABB Bomem at their facility in Quebec City and from February to March 2003, approximately six weeks were spent testing the ACE-FTS (including the imagers) and MAESTRO at the Instrument Calibration Facility (ICF) in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto . The Toronto tests were generally intended to integrate the ACE-FTS and MAESTRO so that all instruments could be tested simultaneously under on-orbit conditions to determine their performance capability to achieve the ACE science goals.

Instruments being mounted in the TVAC

ACE instruments being mounted on the simulation baseplate

Some more specific objectives of testing were to:

  • Test the performance of the FTS using the passive cooler
  • Perform gas cell measurements using the FTS and MAESTRO
  • Carry out complete testing of the solar imagers
  • Characterize the sun-tracker pointing co-ordinates

A more detailed description of instrument testing can be found in the following paper:

Nassar, Ray, Chris Boone, Kaley A. Walker, Sean D. McLeod and Peter F. Bernath (2003), SCISAT: Retrieval algorithms, ACE-FTS testing and the ACE database, in Proceeding of SPIE vol. 5151, Earth Observing systems VIII, edited by William L. Barnes (Bellingham, WA)

ACE inside TVAC

ACE inside the TVAC

ACE in gold foil

ACE instruments, wrapped in gold foil, mounted on the simulation baseplate