The Space Science & Technology Department (SSDT) at Rutherford Laboratories in Chilton has been a customer of MSL since the early 1990’s. They have progressed from using a Magus system to the latest Orchestrator software and currently have over 50 Datascan modules running on two systems.
The facilities at SSDT have been designed for the assembly, integration, development testing and formal flight qualification of instruments for space research.
Monitoring in the Vacuum Chambers can be run continuously, some tests need to be done for 24 hours whilst other tests can last for 2/3 months. The Vacuum Chambers simulate the conditions that the equipment will be put under in Space and temperature testing on the equipment within the Chambers is carried out.
The temperatures can vary from -50ºC to +60ºC in a smaller chamber and -190ºC to +170ºC in the bigger chamber that was installed in 1996. This range of temperature relates to the position of the Satellite at any point in the Earth’s Orbit. Rutherford Laboratories are pleased with the reliability and accuracy of the data given from the Datascan system. To be sure that they are always using the latest Orchestrator.