Satellites move on air casters
ViaSat-2, the second-generation commercial communications satellite, has been successfully providing high-capacity connectivity and broadband internet services since it went live in February 2018, eight months after its launch.
Between launch and “live,” the Boeing-built satellite underwent a series of diagnostic tests as it reached its orbital path. Yet the most important positioning movements for the $600 million bird may well have been those that occurred on the ground prior to the launch.
The location was the cleanroom for the satellite’s assembly and testing where any source of friction or less than precise movements are carefully monitored by partners ViaSat and Boeing. NASA, satellite companies and partners such as Boeing require that any and all equipment used in the cleanroom be incapable of harming the satellite.
Safely Moving Satellites Before Liftoff, an article in SatMagazine, details how air caster systems move satellites in test. Read the entire article here.
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