On the 16th of January 2012 vacuum and thermal tests have begun on the BRITE-PL Lem satellite. These tests should last for approximately ten days.
At the end of November 2011, the first Polish scientific satellite, BRITE-PL Lem, was assembled for the first time. The next phase of preparations for launch are tests of the integrated satellite.
On the 16th of January 2012 (Monday) vacuum and thermal tests of the BRITE-PL Lem satellite started. During these tests, which should last for approximately 10 days, characteristics of the satellite will be verified in vacuum conditions with variable surrounding temperatures.
These tests simulate conditions, in which the satellite will work once it is delivered to the orbit. It is an important milestone in the project as the results will be analyzed, also to find potential problems, which might occur during orbital operations. Thus, due to these tests, the engineers will have insight into the real performance of the BRITE-PL satellite and a chance to find errors or anomalies.
Next, the EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and Open Field Test should take place. These tests will verify the characteristics of operations of the telescope installed on-board the satellite as well as the communications with the ground station.
As of the 18th of January 2012, it seems that BRITE-PL Lem will be launched into orbit in October 2012. The exact date is not known at the moment.