Today we finished pyroshock testing at the ISISpace THOR facility. THOR stands for Testing Hammer for extraOrdinary Rough environments. These tests were performed in frame of an ARTES 5.2 program called ITAR free extended temperature sunsensor.

3 BiSon74ET-RH sensors with two different builds were tested. These sensors went through thermal cycling and vibration testing before. In frame of this program the sensors saw 12 thermal cycles from more than +125C to less than -125C, followed by 30g sine and 40.2g random vibration tests. (al at ESTEC)

Today the test sequence was completed by administering 3 shocks of 3500g in all three directions.

Next to the BiSon74-ET-RH, the same test tests were also performed on two BiSon64 units to validate the latest configuration

As electrical tests showed that non of the units lost functionality and there was some time left in the program, ISIS agreed in doing some additional tests. This lead to a second set of tests performed on three sunsensors (1 from each batch of BiSon74-ET-RH sensors and one BiSon64) in which another 3 shocks in all three directions was administered but this time at 10.000g.

Although a last calibration is still to show that the units didn’t loose performance we are convinced that the tests were successful as all three units also showed full electrical functionality (forward voltage, dark current, thermistor value and bleed resistance) without any noticeable change. In Z direction we decided not to go to the full capabilities of the THOR setup as in X and Y the accelerations already peeked at some 15.000g and in Z this went up to well over 20.000g. As we didn’t want to destroy the sensor perse, but wanted to test to about the highest level that we have ever seen in any space equipment specifications, we decided to limit the accelerations to 10.000g by tuning the drop height of the hammer and using some other tweaks. Thanks to the expert at ISIS this was done quite fast and effectively and the program was finished (despite the additional tests) well within time.

The test program has shown more or less now already that both the preferred and backup configuration of the BiSon74-ET-RH seem to be suitable for use in a full fledged qualification program and the latest configuration of the BiSon64 is capable of withstanding levels significantly above the specified levels.