MEFISTO Vibration test

One of the main objectives of the SQUID project is to deploy several wire booms. The system in charge of deploying these wire booms is called SCALE, and a very similar system called MEFISTO is being developed at KTH for the BepiColombo mission from ESA/JAXA, which will be launched to Mercury in 2014.

Last Thursday we performed a vibration test at Kista, where the instrument was subjected to a very severe vibration test in order to prove that it will survive to the launch. The instrument we tested was not the final design, and it was used mostly to validate the FEM model and detect possible problems on the design.

The test went really well, showing that the design was very robust and only some minor weak points where detected. The video posted below shows one of the hardest vibration tests the dummy had to withstand, and it is specially interesting to see how at the end of the test the door of the system (left side) starts bending and some “white things” start falling from the instrument. Those “white things” where actually pieces of adhesive that where used to attach one of the parts, which obviously wont be case in the final design, but due to some manufacturing problems it was not possible to screw the parts before the test, so a fast and improvised solution was made. The adhesive however, was not good enough to survive to the test:

As you can see, vibration is an important thing to consider when designing space hardware, and with SQUID we will also have to deal with it!