Acoustic test facility set up for ISRO satellites

The facility will be used to perform qualification and acceptance tests of satellites.

Bangalore: The state-run National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) has set up a state-of-the-art acoustic test facility for satellites of the Indian space agency in this tech hub.

"The hi-tech facility will be used to perform qualification and acceptance tests of satellites built by the the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for communications and remote sensing applications," NAL said in a statement here Monday.

Located in the space agency`s satellite integration and test establishment campus, the nitrogen-based acoustic test facility consists of a reverberation chamber for conducting the tests before a satellite is integrated with the rocket for launch into polar or geo-synchronous orbits from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km northeast of Chennai.

As satellites are launched by powerful rockets with very high velocity, the acoustic field created during the launch and trans-atmospheric flight can damage their structure. Once the spacecraft crosses the atmospheric layer, the satellites do not again experience such noise fields during their lifespan.

"It is essential to test all payload packages prior to the launch for mechanical effects under simulated conditions on the ground. The acoustic tests are designed to induce dynamic responses in the test specimen similar to those experienced in flight to qualify them under flight conditions to ensure trouble-free operation," NAL director A.R. Upadhya said.

Unveiled by ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishna, the facility can also test the acoustic shielding efficiency of heat shields that are built around the satellite to protect from atmospheric hazards.

Though NAL has hitherto been conducting such tests at its acoustic test facility, the new facility has been located in the ISRO campus to undertake large number of tests at one place.

"The facility, ninth of its kind the world over, has a control room, data room, ground checkout room air lock area and air handling units," the statement added.


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