Testing in Progress


After a campaign of vibration tests were performed in December 2015 at the Platform Integration Test facility (PIT), we detect an unexpected failure of the original piezoelectric actuators. Because of the PIT testing, we upgraded to a more robust piezoelectric platform (manufactured by Cedrat). A second series of tests was conducted in early April to check the operation of the control electronics and the photodiode. The elements have suffered up to 8 G’s in random frequency and 13 G’s sinusoidal. The setup was not beautiful, but efficient :


The electronics and photodiodes were part of thermal vacuum tests in the tank SimEnOm at LESIA, where they underwent a succession of temperature levels from -20 ° C to + 30 ° C for 3 days. The success of these tests led us to implement version 2 (EM) our electronics currently being tested in the laboratory:

Simulating the temperatures of space (-20 ° C (left) and + 30 ° C (right)) for the electronics and photodiode at SimEnOm

Attitude control

The attitude control of the satellite is its ability to correctly point a target in the sky. For PICSAT, it is a crucial system. The star tracker, the camera which is used to recognize the sky, was tested during a few nights at Paranal, while we were at the same time commissioning the GRAVITY instrument: