WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEEK ENDING 16 January 1998:
Mark Sullivan and Matthew Bye have completed 16 flight thermal isolators for the Science Mission telescope detector electronics (4 needed per telescope). Using titanium-gold coatings on kapton, with an overcoat deposited as liquid polyimid, they have achieved robust reproducible isolators, with very good integrity under mechanical manipulation and abrasion.
SPACE VEHICLE HIGHLIGHT
Engineering strength testing of the Probe Composite Neck Tube (CNT) with the Belleville Preload System (BPS) was successfully completed on 12 January. Axial and lateral loads were applied at levels up to 120% of the expected flight loads. Strains in the CNT were within 10% of their predicted levels. This test is a major milestone in BPS development. It demonstrated the CNT's ability to carry ascent loads through the BPS, and the test validates analytical predictions of load distribution within the CNT caused by the BPS.