MIRIAM-project Duitse Mars Society slaagt voor cruciale test

archimedes logoARCHIMEDES is het grote poject van de Duitse Mars Society, het doel is een ballonsonde naar Mars te sturen en deze in de atmosfeer te laten rondzweven. Onderdeel hiervan is het project MIRIAM (Main Inflated Reentry Into the Atmosphere Mission), waarbij men het volledig opblazen en terugkeren in de atmosfeer test van een ballon (ballute) hier op Aarde.

Another important milestone towards MIRIAM’s planned June 14 launch was achieved on Thursday with the successful completion of the shaker qualification test of MIRIAM’s inflation systems deck here at the Institute of Space Technology at the UniBw.

archimedes ballute inflatedThe inflation systems deck is part of MIRIAM’s Service Module which also carries the folded Miriam Flight system package, its deployment system and telemetry and television hardware.

Because of the available shaker table’s limitations, only subsystems can be tested at any one time. The Service Module’s structural backbone already completed these tests last year.

The inflation deck was tested fully rigged and in flight configuration, meaning that the tank system held 190 bars of Helium and had to undergo a simulated MIRIAM inflation sequence after the test. During the test, the system had to withstand 12.9 grms longitudinal and 4.5 grms latitudinal accelerations for 60 seconds. No tank, tank system or valve leakage was detected, and the system performed flawlessly afterwards. A sine sweep resonance run from 1Hz to 2kHz before and after the test showed no significant variation in eigenfrequencies resulting from the shake, and pressure sensors performed as expected.

The test is immediately followed by a long term Helium storage test to obtain data on pressure stability over a 24h period. This test was already successfully completed with Nitrogen last year, but due to the higher volatility of Helium and the completion of the shake, the storage test will be repeated with Helium.

Next in line is a vacuum validation test here at the institute, testing the inflation system’s performance under vacuum conditions. This test is then followed by a full scale space inflation test under simulated space conditions and a shake down of the entire MIRIAM flight system stack at IABG’s space test center. In parallel, the performance of MIRIAM’s instrument pod during a complete mission cycle will be tested, including a simulated magnetic field for the MiriMag experiment, camera and accelerometer readouts and telemetry down links. A long range life telemetry test out in the open will round off the series of tests before the flight system will be installed underneath the rocket’s nose cone.

MIRIAM is a flight test within the ARCHIMEDES atmospheric sounding probe for Mars project , and tests the full inflation and subsequent entry of an atmospheric entry balloon (“ballute”) here on Earth. It is jointly developed by The Mars Society Germany and several institutes of the University of the Federal Armed Forces of Germany in Munich . MIRIAM combines all research programs within the ARCHIMEDES development program, and is currently planned for launch to a 200km peak altitude from the SSC ESRANGE rocket test site near Kiruna, North Sweden on top of the REXUS4 sounding rocket managed and built by the DLR Moraba group of Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

To obtain more information please feel free to direct inquiries to either hgAPESTAARTmarssociety.de or hannes.griebelAPESTAARTunibw.de, or meet us at the Special Session on Space Technology of the 5th European Conference on Intelligent Systems and Technologies ECIT 2008 ( details here ).

Note: in email addresses, replace APESTAART with @.