04Nov

Shake It! Dandelions-1 Goes For A Shaker Test


We have really good news to share. Dandelions-1 is off for its shaker test. This is a big milestone for any space company and a big big win for Team Dandelions.

This is, after all, our first satellite!

What Is A Shaker Test?

Well, the good folks at NASA have a definition we can use, 'the reason we test a small satellite on a shaker is not that there is a requirement to do so. There may be such a requirement, but the test won’t mean much if that’s the only reason we do it. Most often, we do a vibration test to establish confidence that the satellite can withstand the launch environment and still function afterwards.

So... the shaker test, as the name suggests, shakes a satellite about to see if it can withstand the launch process.

Something to do with sitting on top of a tube that will burn 29,600 gallons (112,184 Kg) of highly refined kerosene - the ride can get bumpy.

Where Did Team Dandelions Do Our Shaker Test?

Our CubeSat-based experiment was tested at the Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre (AITC), at the ANU's beautiful Mount Stromlo facility in Canberra.

Where Jake and Abhishek went for a small trip. Looking sharp lads!

The locals showed up and seemed somewhat interested. Maybe...

The AITC Facility

The shaker test itself happened at Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC), which is decidedly less impressive if filled with newer equipment 😃

The equipment here includes the aptly named Wombat XL, which mimics the airlessness of space, as well as the dramatic temperature changes experienced by satellites moving in and out of the Earth’s shadow.

Also present is an anechoic chamber - lots of cool toys for space nerds!

The Shaker Test

The test itself was conducted on the device below.

First, Dandelions-1 along with the other experiments was integrated into its harness.

Then placed into the test and measurement unit and shaken.

Which looks like this!

Summary

We are super excited about this and are reviewing the data.

The idea now is to make a number of improvements on the satellite and then it goes on for final manufacturing checks!

We'll keep you in the loop - thank you for being with us on our journey. Much love - Team Dandelions.

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