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Guide to Mitigating Spacecraft Charging Effects by Albert C. Whittlesey, Henry B. Garrett

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Chapter 4

Spacecraft Test Techniques

Spacecraft and systems should be subjected to transient upset tests to verify immunity. It is the philosophy in this document that testing is an essential ingredient in a sound spacecraft charging protection program. In this chapter, the philosophy and methods of testing spacecraft and spacecraft systems are reviewed. The content here is largely unchanged from the analogous section in NASA TP-2361 (1).

4.1 Test Philosophy

The philosophy of an ESD test is identical to that of other environmental qualification tests:

1. Subject the spacecraft to an environment representative of that expected.
2. Make the environment applied to the spacecraft more severe than expected as a safety margin to give confidence that the flight spacecraft will survive the real environment.
3. Have a design qualification test sequence that is extensive and includes the following:
a. Test of all units of hardware
b. Use of long test durations
c. Incorporation of as many equipment operating modes as possible
d. Application of the environment to all surfaces of the test unit
4. Have a flight hardware test sequence of more modest scope, such as deleting some units from test if qualification tests show great design margins; use shorter test durations; use only key equipment operating modes; and apply the environment to a limited number of surfaces.

Ideally, both prototype and flight spacecraft should be tested in a charging simulation facility. They should be electrically ...

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