The ExploraVAC™ MAX
series is Ideal Vacuum's premier TVAC thermal test chamber product line, which includes many additional features compared to our standard ExploraVac
This is our Space Simulation ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC thermal vacuum test chamber system. It mimics the extreme pressures and temperatures of outer space, with pressures down to 10-7
Torr and sample temperatures from -70 to +400 °C, accurate to ± 0.3°C, via a 23” × 23” thermally isolated heated and cooled platen. It is a fully integrated, turnkey, rough vacuum system featuring a fully enclosed, lighted, cubic 24” inch, welded, 6061-T6 aluminum vacuum chamber and door with viewport, dual ISO LF-200 side ports, and a volume of 8.0 cubic feet. The system includes a Pfeiffer HiPace 300 turbomolecular pump, and an Edwards nXDS20i dry scroll vacuum pump. The chamber is fitted with wall heaters to bake out and self-clean any residue that may build up inside the chamber. The wall heaters produce a maximum wall heating rate of 2 degrees per minute up to 140°C, accurate to ± 1.5 °C, independent of the platen temperature. This system includes two Convectron, a micro-ion, and a piezo-electric vacuum pressure gauge to provide feedback to the user and for the logic controller. An internally regulated purge gas line can be added to introduce user-selected high purity oxygen-or-water-free gas into the chamber. Other options are available (see Configuration Options, below).
The system includes a built-in touch screen display equipped with AutoExplor
™ software which can control all chamber functions. This system includes a non-expiring basic version of our AutoExplor
software, run by an onboard Windows computer and touchscreen monitor. This easy-to-use software can control and automate all ExploraVAC MAX
functions. Also included is a one-year, renewable, license of AutoExplor
premium version, with many additional features (see below).
This Advanced Space Simulation ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC weighs 1208 lb., and requires single-phase 208-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, at 76 Amps.
ExploraVAC MAX Advanced Space Simulation System Configuration:
- Fully Enclosed 24” Welded Aluminum Vacuum Chamber
- Aluminum Chamber Door with Large Viewport
- Quick-Latch Front Door Closure
- Through Viewport LED Chamber Lighting
- 15.5” LCD Touch Screen Display
- Heated and Cooled Platen
- Chamber Wall Heating
- Closed-Loop Refrigerated Cooling System
- Pfeiffer HiPace 300 Turbo pump
- Edwards nXDS20i Dry Scroll Vacuum Pump (ultimate pressure 20 mTorr)
- Two ISO LF-200 Side Ports (Allows for a variety of feedthroughs to be added)
The ExploraVAC MAX
series of TVAC thermal vacuum chamber process and test instruments create precise environments empowering the operator with complete control over internal chamber pressure and temperature. They are built with innovation in mind. They allow for prototype device exploration in vacuum during the product research and development phase and for precise process control in small batch processing. These thermal vacuum test chamber instruments are designed to allow users to quickly tailor experiments to gather product analysis and diagnostics data as the product is subjected to the extreme stress factors of vacuum and temperature. ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC thermal vacuum test chambers are completely configurable with many available system options.
ExploraVAC MAX System Configuration Options:
- Roughing Pump (dry scroll or dry multi-stage roots, various speeds)
- High Vacuum Turbomolecular Pump (various speeds)
- Full Vacuum Pressure Control
- Heated and Cooled Platen
- Chamber Wall Heating
- Closed-Loop Refrigerated or LN2Cryogenic Cooling System
- Automated Software Control
- Remote Control Operation
- Purge Ports, Chamber Shelving, and Much More
systems are configured with fully enclosed 24 inch cubic aluminum chambers and doors with viewports and chamber lighting.
The ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC system cabinet has a conveniently angled front panel with computer-controlled touchscreen interface which controls all chamber functions. PID controllers and gauges are installed as required for user selected options. A PLC manages system functions including pump and valve sequencing for efficient pump down cycles and safety interlocks for preventing equipment damage. The front accessible, built-in NEMA style enclosure houses the electronics needed for system operation.
Two spacious LF-200 side ports are available for user-selected or designed accessories, such as an electronic feedthrough for device monitoring or for a vibration pad for shock testing, an infrared lamp array for radiant heating or temperature differential tests, an ultraviolet lamp array for ionizing radiation tests, or a mount for an electron beam. A system can also be customized to obtain any desired rate of rise by adding additional vacuum pumps mounted outside the cabinet.
The back of the cabinet holds a bulkhead feedthrough panel for chamber venting, pump exhaust, and the purge gas option. A digital feedthrough back panel has multiple ports including a DB9 connector for running the system remotely from a workstation or laptop running Microsoft Windows10 or 11 with our AutoExplor
The (non-expiring) basic version of AutoExplor
(P1012102) allows a user to manually control devices while protecting the system. AutoExplor
properly sequences pumps and automatically operates the correct valves for a given request. The user can program pressure and temperature setpoints, ramp rates, soak times, and venting (if the system is equipped with those hardware options). The software provides real-time graphical data streaming so the user can visualize system behavior. AutoExplor
maintains an internal preventive maintenance schedule and notifies the user when system service is due. For example, it notifies when scroll pump tip-seal replacements are needed and when sensor calibration is due. This helps keep the system at peak operating performance. It also provides fault and error messages along with specific troubleshooting information in the case of a device failure so that the issue can be corrected as soon as possible.
The premium version of AutoExplor
(P1012100) includes all the features of the basic software package (above) and adds automated recipe control, data logging, and log export capabilities. Complex test recipes can be created as a step-by-step process, where each step can control the on/off state, setpoints, and ramp rates of multiple devices. One or multiple end conditions for each recipe step may be set using logical operators. The premium version allows the user to quickly generate environmental TVAC test reports from recipe data log files. Logs can be reviewed to ensure targeted process parameters are achieved. The premium version also includes AutoExplor IP Client
, which gives the software the ability to be used as a host that can manage multiple external network clients, and AutoExplor API
(application programming interface), which allows a scientist or programmer to integrate an ExploraVac
instrument into their existing software test suite without using AutoExplor’s
software interface. The premium version must be renewed annually or it reverts to the basic version.
The ExploraVAC MAX
series of TVAC pressure and temperature-controlled test chambers are a perfect solution for many product testing requirements.
About Space Simulation:
- Environmental Testing Chamber
- Altitude Test Chamber
- Space Simulation Test Chamber
- Thermal Shock Chamber
- Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering Test Chamber
- High Altitude Flight Component Testing
- Vacuum Oven
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
- Plastic & Epoxy Curing & Outgassing
The conditions felt in space are extreme. Satellites, CubeSats, and spacecraft experience constant high vacuum and large temperatures swings during the day-night cycle as they pass into the suns unfiltered rays and then into the earth’s cold shadow. For example, an object in low earth orbit without temperature regulation mechanisms may reach -170 °C in the night and 123 °C in the day. Due to the high cost of launching an object into space, it is crucial, and often mandatory, to rigorously test all individual components and the entire assembled device before deployment.
Ideal Vacuum’s ExploraVAC MAX
Advanced Space Simulation Test Chamber has a 24” cubic chamber which can fit most individual components, a small commercial satellite, or a12U CubeSat. A built-in Pfeiffer HiPace 300 turbomolecular pump delivers pressures down to 1 × 10-7
Torr to effectively simulate deep space. This matches most space simulation requirements and far exceeds the standard CubeSat testing requirement of 1 ×10-3
Torr. The high surface area 23” × 23” heated and cooled platen allow precise sample temperature control from -70 °C to 400 °C with ramp rate and setpoint control accurate to ± 0.3 °C. The chamber walls heat to 140 °C independent of platen temperature allowing the chamber to be baked out to achieve deeper high vacuum at a faster rate, clean the chamber between outgas composition tests, and provide radiant heating for thermal gradient tests. These extreme temperatures allow light-shadow thermal temperature cycling tests or thermal vacuum outgassing tests. A spacious LF-200 side port is available for user-selected or designed accessories, such as an electronic feedthrough for device monitoring or shock testing, an infrared lamp array for radiant heating or temperature differential tests, or an ultraviolet lamp array for ionizing radiation tests.
The system can be further upgraded with pressure control if the objects being tested may experience variable pressures on their way to space. A purge gas line can be added to improve system cleanliness and purity by introducing clean inert gas into the chamber after each vacuum cycle. Faster and deeper cryogenic cooling, down to -170 °C, is possible with the recirculated liquid nitrogen cooling option to simulate even colder space temperatures or thermal shock.