Integrated Satellite Test Chamber Automation

CIMCON is proud to have designed and delivered some of the most advanced and complicated automation systems for fully automated operations of test chambers used for testing of satellite sub-assemblies and components in space simulated conditions.

Wireless SCANET SCADA for Industrial Automation - Integrated Satellite Test Chamber Automation


  • Very large number of inputs and outputs. A typical IO count is over 1000 I/Os with 0.1 ms processing time
  • Fully fault-tolerant mode of operations since any fault during testing can result in total damage to multi-million dollar satellite assemblies.
  • Complete programming of thermal cycle with auto-adjustment of temperature profile in the event certain soak and ramp times are not achieved due to thermal equipment lags.
  • Complete Auto / Manual operations
  • Ability to switch to auto mode from manual mode from where auto mode was left
  • Fully distributed I/Os to reduce cabling and save space
  • Flow chart programmable
  • Interface to several vacuum and thermal gauges and pumps operating over several protocols
  • Extensive operator friendly mimics and reports
  • Voice guided instructions to help operators in their functioning

Typical System Configuration

A typical system consists of several hundred or thousand I/Os connected to a fault-tolerant PLC. The fault tolerant configuration consists of two CPU's and two power supplies in a single segmented rack. This saves on the space and provides redundancy for CPU as well as power supply. The I/O's are fully distributed and connected using racks over high speed profibus interface to both the CPU's. Thus if any of the two CPU's fail, the second CPU immediately takes over without any loss of control. Operator Interface is provided through two standard Pentium grade PC's with high resolution color monitors. Both the PC's are networked using high speed 12 MBPS Profibus interface. Both the PC's are connected to the fiber optic ring. The software is fully open and conforms to various standards such as DDE, OLE and ACTIVEX. Thus it can be interfaced with any third party applications for report generation and custom development. The communication between the dual redundant Controller CPU's and the distributed I/O's located in the rack is using redundant high speed profibus interface modules. Since the Controller can only communicate using its own protocol, it cannot accept the RS232 inputs from field devices. A separate protocol converter is therefore provided which is connected to one of the rack using communication processor. The protocol converter, communicates with the 14 serial devices and converts the data into a protocol understood by the Controller.

The system boasts of high speed of communication using profibus interface between controller and PC Fiber optic ring provided high reliability and speed of communication between controller and PC.