Chinese and French scientists carried out acoustic and vibration tests on their co-developed satellite, the Space Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM) satellite, from August 11 to 16 in Shanghai.

The satellite is the first of its kind co-developed by the two countries, and is designed to detect the distant space phenomena of the gamma ray bursts.

Engineers prepare for the acoustic test of SVOM satellite on August 11, 2023. [IMAGE: CGTN]

There will be four scientific payloads on the satellite with two from China, the Visible Telescope and the Gamma Ray Burst Monitor. France will be sending two telescopes on the satellite, the ECLAIRs telescope and the Microchannel X-ray telescope.

The SVOM satellite was approved for development in 2006 by China National Space Administration and French Space Agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (National Centre for Space Studies, CNES). The Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is in charge of the satellite system.

Acoustic testing is crucial for satellites to understand its resistance under a high acoustic environment generated by the launcher during take-off, according to French payload manager Karine Mercier from CNES.

The sensitive parts regarding acoustic noise excitations are the fragile ones like optics and the large ones like covers, radiators or solar arrays for example, he said.

“This testing is quite stressful because we leave the satellite in the middle of the acoustic chamber without being able to do anything, but we have performed many calculations and tests for each satellite element before in order to be confident,” Mercier said.

“After acoustic and sine vibration tests, we performed the satellite functional tests,” said Zhang Xiaofeng, Deputy Director of the Scientific Satellite Institute at CAS’s Innovation Academy for Microsatellites. “All the test results meet the technical requirements.”

The satellite weighs a total of 950 kilograms with 450 kilograms as payload. It is expected to be launched in 2024.

Source: CGTN

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