NASA’s Webb Space Telescope, which was launched a few years ago caught an Unexpected response, during one of its routine tests. More than a hundred devices were designed to detect small changes in the motion of the satellite. Consequently, the vibration testing of the satellite was overlooked.
Before launching any space flight or satellite, vibration testing is a must for all spacecraft and instruments. Vibration testing ensures that the space flight is fit to launch.
NASA’s Webb space Technology engineers and scientists have now successfully analysed many potential causes in the satellite. They have successfully conducted 3 low-level vibration tests of the telescope. According to all the visual and ultrasonic test that were conducted in the satellite showed positive results for its launch.
In an interview, Eric Smith, the program director for NASA’s Webb Space Telescope informed media, ” currently, the Webb Space Telescope team is continuing their analysis with the aim of having a review of their findings, conclusion and further plans for resuming vibration testing this January 2017.
During the last vibration testing on December 3rd, 2016 certain unexpected responses were detected by the accelerometers. As a result of these unexpected responses the vibration testing was shut down to protect the hardware of the satellite. The vibration testing for the satellite was immediate shuts down when a higher rate than that of expected rate was recorded.
The vibration testing provides assurance of the hardware of the satellite, that the spaceship is fit to initiate its programs. High level of vibration is created during the launch time. Hence it is very important that the satellite is able to tolerate the frequency above the threshold limit.
The Webb Space Telescope is one of the most dynamic and complex test devices ever launched by NASA. The unexpected responses can cause huge damage to the hardware. NASA has planned to restart it vibration testing procedure this January so that the father functioning of the satellite can be continued without disturbance.