After the blankets are ready, the ARUBA and its two controller boxes are loaded into the Thermal-Vacuum (T/V) Chamber .
This facility is a steel chamber from which all air is removed to simulate the environment of space. The temperaturs is then
cycled hot and cold to simulate the temperature changes that can be encountered. Jorge and Christine
are the two thermal engineers that ran the test and performed the setup here. The ARUBA is the white box
on the black plate next to Christine's arm.
The overall setup. The chamber is the blue object in the middle. The table in the foreground
is our test equipment.
The overall T/V setup. Note the ARUBA with its 'space suit' formed from white Beta Cloth.
Equipment outside the chamber monitors the operation of the ARUBA to make sure no problem
occurs during the test..
Close-up of the ARUBA with its little space suit on. Note that the connectors have the large
wing tabs. This makes it easy for atronauts to turn them with their clumsy gloves. SN001F means:
serial number 001 (first one built), and 'F' means that this unit will fly in space. We also built
one unit for use on the ground, and that one received the designation 'E' for "Engineering Unit".
Compare this picture of the blankets to this one.
The small box on the top of the ARUBA covers a connector that will be used in case of a
contingency. It is removed via the large exposed loop. The other two on
the top will be used to pass power to NCS. Power passes from the right
to the left connector.
Picture of the ARUBA thru the glass window of the chamber. Notice how crowded it is in there.
We had three flight boxes (including the controllers) and the two cold plates.
The ARUBA system actually consists of not only the relay box (labelled with 'ARUBA'), but
also two controllers, that get installed into the ESM once the Thermal-Vacuum test is over.
This unit houses the computer that controls the whole radiator and cryo cooler.
Closeup of the ESM shot thru the wall of the clean tent. The two controllers are visible at the top
of the box (with the white cable to the left).
After the controllers are installed, the ESM undergoes its own Thermal-Vacuum test. The
chamber used is bigger than the one for the ARUBA test.
As for the ARUBA itself, it is installed onto the radiator, which sits in our big clean room (SSDIF).
In the background are the two Hubble Simulators. The one on the left is the mechanical
simulator to test the fit of instruments, and the one on the right contains the Hubble avionics.
A webcam is available to show the our cleanroom here. Click on 'Hubble Project'.
Close-up of the radiator with the ARUBA installed. Note that the radiator is vertical
here, compared to the horizontal position here.
Another close-up showing just the ARUBA (right) and the Diode Box (left).