We had a unique and lucky opportunity to visit the clean room at Airbus Defence & Space, Toulouse to watch satellites and their components being integrated and tested. The board members announced to the club members beforehand the date and time of when the form for signing up will be available. The visit took place on 3rd May, 2018 in the afternoon. That way it was guaranteed that everyone got a fair chance. On the day of the visit, we walked from campus to the Airbus facility as a group. It was a really nice opportunity for the members to interact with each other.
We reached the facility in under 20 mins, we performed the mandatory security procedures at the reception to get our IDs for entering the facility. It was our lucky day, we were informed that we would be given the rare opportunity to visit the industrial clean room facility. We were first given the dress code to be worn before entering the clean room to prevent contamination. We first saw the assembly of a telecommunication satellite which was to be launched into the Geo-stationary orbit (GEO). M. Philippe Layeb took us on a tour through the clean room facility.
We passed through different areas of the clean room. The cleanrooms are where Eurostar 3000 telecommunications satellites, as well as some Earth observation satellites, which are assembled, tested and configured for “Flight” (installation of the solar wings, antennas, thermal protections) before they leave for the launch site.
We saw satellites placed in large insulating containers which insulate the satellite from impact, acoustic interferences, pressure and thermal changes. We then visited a huge thermal vacuum chamber which can simulate the harsh temperatures found in the space environment.
Finally, we entered a shielded anechoic chamber were various radiation pattern tests were to be performed to calibrate and test the antenna of the satellite. This is also where the MISTRAL room is located, in which the radio-electric performances are tested in complete isolation from the outside. Later on, we saw the assembly means of the solar wings, and the zero G system in which they can be unfolded. At the end, Mme. Ombeline Conte gave us a presentation on the opportunities available at Airbus D&S.
We would like to thank M. Phillppe & Mme Ombeline, Mme Léna for facilitating this visit to take place. We would also like to thank the board members for organizing this special visit.
Stay tuned for future visits by checking the Euroavia Calendar regularly !