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Supporting Science and Discovery

Boeing CST-100 StarlinerA spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to travel or operate in outer space. It is specifically engineered for space exploration, satellite deployment, scientific research, communication, or other space-based activities. The industry is supported by mass properties instruments, temperature measurement instruments, torque and force measurement instruments, cleaning & contamination prevention instruments, and heat flux sensors and thermocouples. Examples include the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Falcon 9.

Boeing CST-100 Starliner Weight and CG of Large Objects and Spacecraft

Physical Properties Systems

Mass properties testing is conducted on a wide range of products and components on a space vehicle to ensure accurate measurement of mass, center of gravity, and moments of inertia. This information is vital for proper integration, performance optimization, and safe operation of the space vehicle. Products on the spacecraft requiring mass properties measurements include:

  • Main Structure: body, framework, support systems
  • Payloads: communication satellites, scientific instruments, imaging systems
  • Propulsion Systems: engines, propellant tanks, thrusters
  • Control systems, computers, sensors, communication equipment
  • Thermal Control Systems: radiators, heat pipes, insulation materials
  • Solar Arrays: generate power for the space vehicle
  • Deployable Structures: antennas, booms
Boeing CST-100 Starliner Weight and CG of Large Objects and Spacecraft
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Igniter Circuit Testers

Igniter circuit testing may vary depending on the space vehicle’s design, propulsion system, and mission objectives. The igniter circuit testers are used to verify the functionality and reliability of the ignition systems, ensuring a safe and successful mission. Products that require ICT’s are:

  • Rocket Engines: igniter, ignition control units, ignition cables, associated circuitry
  • Solid Rocket Motors: often used as boosters
  • Pyrotechnic Devices: separation mechanisms, explosive bolts, deployment mechanisms
  • Stage Separation Mechanisms
  • Abort Systems
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Pressure and Temperature Systems

Pressure and temperature instruments are used for measurement and monitoring. These instruments are crucial for ensuring the proper functioning, performance, and safety of the space vehicle throughout its mission. Products requiring these instruments:

  • Propellant Tanks
  • Rocket Engines and thrusters: thrust performance, combustion stability, overall engine health
  • Cryogenic Propellants: liquid oxygen or hydrogen
  • Thermal Control Systems: radiators, heat pipes, insulation materials, other thermal management subsystems
  • Payloads and Scientific Instruments
  • Structural Integrity and Performance: measuring the strain, stress, and deformation of structural elements during launch, in-space operations, and reentry
  • oxygen and life support equipment
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Instrument Cleaning and Contamination Prevention

Products and components on a space vehicle require instrument cleaning and contamination prevention instruments. Maintaining cleanliness and preventing contamination is essential to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and effectiveness of instruments and systems operating in the space environment.

  • Optical Instruments: telescopes, cameras, spectrometers
  • Various Sensors and Detectors: navigation, Earth observation, scientific measurements
  • Solar Panels
  • Filters and Strainers: propellant lines, fluid circulation systems
  • Instruments used for collecting samples of gases, liquids, or solids
  • Instruments used for biological or chemical analysis: microscopes or gas chromatographs
  • Clean rooms and environmental control systems
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11644-01 Base Gas Temperature Transducer Type S

Thermal Systems

Space vehicles require thermal sensors and instruments for temperature monitoring and control. Proper thermal management is crucial for the safe and efficient operation of a spacecraft in the harsh environment of space.

  • Monitor the temperature of rocket engines, thrusters, associated components
  • Vehicles that use cryogenic propellants, such as liquid oxygen or hydrogen, require thermal sensors and instruments to monitor the temperature of cryogenic storage tanks, transfer lines, and valves
  • Thermal Control Systems: radiators, heat pipes, insulation materials, and other thermal management subsystems
11644-01 Base Gas Temperature Transducer Type S

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