25 July 2014 The x-ray telescope eROSITA: qualification of the thermal control system
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Abstract
eROSITA is the core instrument on the Spektrum-Röntgen-Gamma (SRG) mission, scheduled for launch in 2016. The main tasks of the thermal control system are heating of the mirror modules, cooling of the camera electronics, cooling of the CCD detectors and temperature control of the telescope structure in general. Special attention is paid to the camera cooling, since it is the most critical one. The complex assembly with the sevenfold symmetry of the eROSITA telescope requires an innovative design. Large distances and a very low operating temperature (–90°C to –100°C) place high demands on the cooling chain. In total, three different types of low-temperature ethane heat pipes are used to transport the heat from the cameras to two radiators outside the telescope structure. Extreme environmental temperature gradients with the Sun on the one side and the cold space on the other present a real challenge not only to the camera cooling systems, but to the overall thermal control. A thermal model of the complete telescope was used to predict the thermal behavior of the telescope and its subsystems. Through various tests, this model could be improved step by step. The most complex test was the space simulation test of the eROSITA qualification model in January 2013 at the IABG facilities in Ottobrunn, Germany. About 50 heaters, a liquid-nitrogen-cooled chamber and a Sun simulator provided realistic mission conditions. Approximately 200 temperature sensors monitored the relevant temperatures during the test. The results were predominantly within the predicted intervals and therefore not only verified the complete concept but also enabled a further refining of the thermal model. This, in turn, allows for reliable predictions of the thermal behavior during the mission. Some deviations required minor changes in the final design which were implemented and re-qualified in a separate test of the thermal control system flight model in March 2014 in the PANTER test facility of MPE. The results of both tests will be presented in this contribution.
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Maria Fürmetz, Maria Fürmetz, Josef Eder, Josef Eder, Elmar Pfeffermann, Elmar Pfeffermann, Peter Predehl, Peter Predehl, } "The x-ray telescope eROSITA: qualification of the thermal control system", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91444X (25 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057346; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057346
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