At this moment in time I am currently waiting on test facilities to carry out environmental testing to qualify the Claymore deployer. After successfully completing these tests I will be seeking launch opportunities for the initial launch of the deployer.
When it comes to testing whether it’s a functional, proof of concept, qualification or environmental you should develop a testing plan prior to carrying out these tests. While it can seem to be a waste of time or just red tape a testing plan will aid you in keeping you on track and avoid delays. Turning up to a testing facility or carrying out functional testing without a clear plan can lead to inadequate testing methods, non-repeatable results and time being wasted. In addition, a testing plan is required to send to a testing facility so they know if they can accommodate your testing campaign.
A good testing plan will have the following subjects in the report:
- What is being tested.
- Overview of tests.
- Who is testing.
- Equipment required.
- Testing methods.
- Testing levels.
- Pass Fail criteria.
Introduction: Give a brief description of what you are testing, why, where, and how you will be carrying out the test. For example, the Claymore 6p deployer is going through an environmental testing campaign to qualify it for launch. You can make a brief introduction for functional testing as to what subsystem and why you are testing them.
What is being tested: Describe the system or subsystem that is being tested. The Claymore is going to be tested with dummy masses to replicate pocketqube satellites being launched. It is useful to provide images of the parts that will be tested. Also include dimensions, physical mounting points and electrical interfaces. This will be required for testing facilities so that they can determine if their equipment can be used to test your parts.
Overview of tests: List out the tests that will be carried out in your campaign. Whether it’s functional, proof of concept or environmental testing you will be conducting a variety of tasks. The Claymore deployer will have vibration, sine, shock and Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) tests. It’s also useful to list out the order of the tests to make it easier to follow and keep things organised. If you need to use an outsourced testing facility, it’s a good idea to organise your testing plan efficiently.
Who is testing: Record each team member and list which tests they will be carrying out. In addition, it will be useful to list who is responsible for overseeing the testing campaign. This makes it clear for the team on their responsibilities and who they should contact if they run into issues during testing.
Equipment required: What equipment will be used during testing? Does the team need to invest or use specialist equipment? The Claymore deployer will be using accelerometers to measure vibration. A vibrating table, vacuum chamber will be required, and adapter plates will be required to mount the deployer to the vibrating table. In addition, list out tools and safety equipment you will require in order to carry out the tests.
Facilities: Identify and describe where you will be carrying out the tests.
Testing method: List out how you will conduct each test. Make sure you include a description on how the system or components will be setup prior, during and after testing. For the Claymore deployer I have listed out how the vibration, sine, shock and TVAC tests will be carried out. This also includes functional tests, visual inspections and how it will be orientated on the vibrating table.
Testing levels: List out the testing levels for each test if you are carrying out environmental testing or proof of concept testing. For the Claymore I have listed out the levels, number of tests and tolerance criterion for the vibration and shock testing. For TVAC I have listed the thermal levels, rates, dwell time and number of thermal cycles. For function testing you could list out the loads you will be subjecting your components to.
Pass Fail criteria: This is a major component in your testing plan that you avoid leaving out as how can you determine your product was successful during the testing campaign? List out your requirements that your product needs to meet to pass during testing. The Claymore deployer must maintain structural integrity during testing and its mechanisms must actuate after each test. In addition, it must have natural frequencies above the launch vehicle requirements.
Then list out your failure criteria where you determine your product failed, you can also include criteria when to abort your tests as to avoid injuring or damaging equipment. The tests will be aborted if the Claymore deployer falls apart or jams during testing. In addition, if it’s natural frequency is at an unacceptable level.
Standards: List out the testing standards you are testing towards, these can be useful in determining the testing levels you need to adhere to. Looking up standards before you begin your testing plan can help you identify your testing requirements and give you a clearer understanding of what you are going to do during testing.
It is always good to plan before you carry work out as it can aid you in avoiding pitfalls and improve your efficiency.
If you need assistance in your pocketqube or cubesat mission please don’t hesitate to contact me at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also don’t forget to visit www.wyrmengineering.com to keep updated on the Claymore 6P deployer.