Preparations, Tests and some more Tests
at Esrange Space Center 08th to 10th March 2016
The first days of the REXUS launch campaign were used for individual experiment preparations and different tests of either a single experiment or the whole rocket.
On Tuesday morning we moved to our working place in the church (a large hall where all REXUS 19 and 20 teams got their space for their preparations).
There we unpacked the materials, tools and spare parts from Würzburg and soon we built up the system we used for testing.
We also got back our experiment module we hadn’t seen since January.
Its software had to be updated as we prepared some improvements during the last weeks at home.
Another main task was to focus the cameras to infinity as this will be needed during flight when the earth will be about 80km away.
On Wednesday the testing started. In the morning our experiment had to performe the so called Communication Test.
The module was connected to the service system of the rocket. We checked whether our groundsegment was able to communicate with the experiment via the infrastructure of the rocket.
This means to receive health data like currents and temperatures from the system.
In the other direction we could send commands for example to change modes from the ground station to the experiment.
In the afternoon the next text on the schedule was the bench test. It was like the Communication test, but now all experiments of the rocket had to performe the test at the same time. So they were all placed in line and connected to each other and the service module. Again communication was checked with special regard to interferences between the experiments. No problems occured so far.
The first flight simulation was scheduled for the next day.
All procedures that will be needed during the real flight were performed.
This includes a timeline test.
So the time from T-16 min (16 minutes before liftoff) until T+10 min (10 minutes after liftoff) was ran through second by second considering each action that has to be done in order to make the experiments work properly.
To also simulate what PATHOS will see during flight a team member placed a picture of the earth’s horizon in front of the camera of one system.