Aerospace Engineering Department
BS in Aerospace Engineering
The purpose of this senior project is to understand the capabilities of the thermal vacuum chamber in the Space Environments Laboratory at California Polytechnic State University and compare the performance to thermal vacuum chambers used in the aerospace industry. The lowest temperature attained inside the chamber during an experiment at ambient pressure was -33°C. The lowest pressure reached by the vacuum chamber at the time of this project was 5e-5 Torr. This report also yields recommendations for integrating a demonstation of the effects of thermal variation in space on spacecraft components for the class AERO 471. A lit LED can simulate operational spacecraft components, and the LED turns off below a given temperature to simulate component failure due to inadequate thermal regulation. A major element of this project became understanding the operation of the chiller and methods of improving the functionality of the system. This report includes a Chiller Manual compiled from various sources to simplify the steps for future users.