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Virtual Prototyping Facility

The Virtual Prototype Facility is a software tool used for simulating the assembly process of the STARDUST spacecraft. Each of the various parts and components can be added in any order desired to see if there is a conflict. The bright false colors are used to help distinguish one part from another. From this the plans for the actual assembly process can be verified. The software allows viewing the spacecraft assembly from any angle. It also aids in determining if there are problems of reach and access that would be difficult for the speaceraft engineers to perform.

dolly_01.jpg This picture is a view of the assembly dolly in the SSB high bay. It corresponds to the assembly process around 1998 March. One can see the support frame (red) to which are connected both of the strongbacks (magenta). The +y-panel is the more heavily populated panel on the right. The -y-panel is on the left. The propulsion tank hovers above the +x-panel and next to the -z-panel. The +z-panel hovers in space off to the left. The brown cylindrical parts on the -z-panel are the inertial measurement units (IMUs). Just below and to the left is the navigation camera. The brown box on the +x-panel is the solar array switching unit SASU. All of the visible components on the +y-panel are telecommunications components. dolly_02.jpg The medium-gain antenna (MGA) peeks out from behind the +y-panel. The gray box on the -y-panel is the electronics box for the dust flux monitor (DFM). The blue box is the power box (PCA), and the gray box above it is the command and data handling (C&DH) box, which is the flight computer and associated hardware.

The picture on the right shows the same model as in the previous image, but from the opposite side. The star camera (red), reaction engine modules (REMs) and a thermal-control louvre are now visible on the -z-panel.


horiz_01.jpg The fully configured spacecraft in a horizontal position is shown here on the left. The spacecraft is attached to the rotation fixture. Above the -z-panel can be seen the navigation camera (purplish) and, to the right, the navigation camera's periscope (blue-gray). Behind those two components is an enclosure that houses the battery. The cometary and interstellar dust analyzer (CIDA) pokes out from underneath the -z-panel. The sample return capsule (SRC) is visible on the left. The solar panels are obviously folded, and the solar panel Whipple shields are facing opposite from the cruise direction.

horiz_02.jpg This shows the +z-panel with its conspicuous high-gain antenna (HGA). Above the +z-panel are the MGA (yellow) and a thermal control louvre (purplish). The waveguide that feeds the HGA is the yellow arm with an elbow. The two bright dots at the left end of the +z-panel are the sun sensors.


horiz_03.jpg To the right is a view looking inside of the opened SRC. The aerogel grid (gray) is deployed at the end of its (green) deployment arm. The aerogel canister lid is colored red.

Below is a final view of the spacecraft in its vertical (launch) configuration. The yellow plate above the (orange) star camera is the navigation camera's radiator.


Data and images provided by Tom Vaughan, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colorado.

Last update: Wednesday, 07-Jun-2000 13:51:17 PDT by Tom Meyer