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Project Management, Professor of Satellite Technology

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Klinkner

Prof. Klinkner

Annegret Möller

Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme
Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart


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The Institute of Space Systems has a vacuum chamber that is exclusively used for thermal-vacuum tests of satellite components. By means of the absence of convection, it is possible to simulate the conditions for satellite systems as they would be in Earth orbit.




The low pressure in the chamber is generated by two different pumps. At first, a vane pump establishes a prevacuum, which is needed for the turbo pump.


During the tests, the satellite components are exposed to different temperatures while monitioring their functionality. This is mandatory since the temperature in a satellite can vary more than 100 K.  The temperature of the components can be adjusted by a circulator, which pumps silicon oil through a copper plate and thus cools or heats the plate.



Measurements from temperature sensors, which are located on different areas of the component, can be compared with mathematical predictions. The image below shows a component populated with temperature sensors (red) during a test in the thermal-vacuum-chamber.

Testobjekt in Thermal-Vakuum-Kammer 

The specifications of the thermal-vacuum-chamber as an overview:


Diameter 1 m
Length 2 m
Temperature range -40°C to 115°C
Cooling plate 400 x 500 mm² (effective 350 x 400 mm²)