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Instrument Description

Mass properties testing is performed to determine characteristics of the radioisotope power systems (RPS) that are important to the flight stability of the spacecraft. Technicians take measurements to very accurately determine the weight of the RPS, its center of gravity (CG), and its moments of inertia (MOI).  

Mass properties tooling in SSPSF include:

  • A Mettler Toledo scale model KCC150 with a 150 Kg (330 lb) capacity and electronic display model ID1 Plus. It has an uncertainty of less than 0.05 lbs. over the 330-lb range. 

  • The mass properties instrument is a Space Electronics, Inc. Model KSR1320-1500. It has the capability to measure the center of gravity of an object to within a sphere of 10 mm and moment of inertia to +/- 0.1 percent.

  • The mass properties information is obtained by SSPSF operators and supplied to parent spacecraft program. This information is needed to calculate an overall vehicle weight, center of gravity, and moment of inertia.



The mass properties testing is part of several steps in ensuring proper assembly and finished product quality of the RPS. 



Equipment capabilities include:

  • CG to sphere of 10 mm

  • MOI +/- 0.1%

Instrument sample preparation area; Shielded optical microscopy vacuum testing chambers testing properties gross and isotopic gamma scanning; Instron remote load frame gas measurement and analysis accident condition simulator furnace extrusion; Metallic fuel line; Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative glovebox; Glovebox advance casting system furnace; Metallic fuel line; Metallic fuel line handling; Inert-radiological gloveboxes; Uranium handling repackaging glovebox; Transuranic breakout glovebox gamma irradiator surveillance glovebox line; Cell area Quanta 3D FEG dual-beam SEM FIB JSM-7000f SEM; Gatan precision etching and coating system; Gatan precision ion polishing systems II; Gatan precision ion polishing systems JEM 2010 STEM Cameca SX100R EPMA FEI QUANTA 3D FEG Titan ChemiSTEM FEG-STEM FEI Helios dual-beam SEM-plasma FIB diffraction; Micro X-ray diffractometer Di LemmaJEOL JSM-7000f SEM coupled plasma-mass spectrometer coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer; Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer coupled plasma-mass spectrometer advance casting system furnace; Hot uniaxial press furnace mass spectrometer; ELTRA CS-800; ELTRA ONH-2000 furnace; Differential scanning calorimeter; Simultaneous thermal analyzer; Pushrod dilatometer; Laser flash analyzer Separator Laboratories X-ray diffractometer; X-ray diffraction; Hot uniaxial press furnace
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