The DBC at the Vibration Test Facility. This is where we shake the hardware to test its durability to the launch
environment. The large round object on the left is the shaker which acts much like a large speaker. It shakes
the table in one direction (left-right) in this picture. The hardware to be tested is then bolted to this table, and
is turned 90 degrees for each axis of test. (March 2001).
Close-up of the DBA2/DBC on the vibe table. Note the massive mounting blocks that will conduct the vibration into the box.
During the test, the shaking is so violent that you have to wear hearing protection to stand next to the hardware.
The red wires lead to accellerometers that monitor the vibration of the box. The white looping cable
will be used by the astronauts to connect commands and telemetry to the internal controller.
Close-up of the accellerometers. They are mounted on small metal blocks, three to
each block for the X, Y, Z directions.
After the DBA is shaken in the horizontal direction (X and Y), it is
moved to this table, which shakes it in the vertical (Z) direction.
Close-up of the vertical shaker with the DBA/DBC on top of it.
After vibration test, the unit is tested to make sure it survived (it did), and it is then integrated into one of
the thermal-vacuum chambers. This large blue steel vessel has all the air pumped out to simulate the vacuum
of space. The temperature is varied by using lamps and liquid nitrogen to mirror the temperature swings.
View of the inside of the chamber using its built-in window. The lamps that light up the DBA2/DBC simulate
the radiation of the sun. In the reflection of the window, you can see the team members that tested the unit.
From left to right, Benny Prats (thermal), Phil Pierce (electrical), Guinevere (facilities),
Mark Klappenberger (test engineer).