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Quartz Flexible Accelerometer: Making Rendezvous And Docking More 'warm'
Dec 06, 2018

The reason why the space rendezvous and docking is "warm" is because the maximum acceleration of the spacecraft in the sky can reach more than 3g, and the acceleration at the rendezvous and docking is only on the order of μg, which is like pushing a cow with the power of pushing an ant. Simply "gentle" into the bones. The "warm" docking between the two "tough guys" can not be separated from the perfect performance of the quartz flexible accelerometer.


From “Shenzhou 1” to “Shenzhou VII”, the quartz flexible accelerometer provides accurate acceleration measurement for the spacecraft return capsule; from “Shenzhou 8” to “Shenzhou 11”, the quartz flexible accelerometer As a core component of high-precision acceleration-sensitive components, it provides information such as microgravity and speed for spacecraft attitude control and rendezvous and docking. In the completed 嫦娥3 and the upcoming 嫦娥5 mission, it is It is an indispensable and important product.

In the space flight of "Tianzhou No.1", the quartz flexible accelerometer has been "working two jobs": it is necessary to stabilize the speed and lead the position in the three rendezvous and docking, and also in the space science experimental platform - - The key to the verification of the key technology of the microgravity active vibration isolation platform, accurately measuring the spatial motion of the six degrees of freedom of the load.


Since its inception in 1999, the quartz flexible accelerometer has successfully completed more than ten flying missions. From the initial return cabin application to the more accurate rendezvous and docking mission, the accelerometer's measurement accuracy has increased by 20%, and the researchers have invested more than this.


According to the researcher, in the previous mission, in order to ensure the high-precision measurement requirements of the rendezvous and docking, the quartz flexible accelerometer must be put on a tight-fitting "outer coat" to prevent the internal gas from leaking under vacuum. After repeated verification, the developer finally determined the structural design of the “sealing coat”; in order to fully guarantee the reliability of the seal, and simulate the space environment, it was subjected to severe tests such as vibration, shock and thermal vacuum. After a lot of hard work, the "sealing coat" finally came out. In addition to the sealing problem, the designers have also overcome a series of difficulties such as long-term stability, so that the quartz flexible accelerometer, which originally had the first domestic precision, has the ability to "resident" all kinds of spacecraft.

The "Tianzhou No. 1" mission also puts more stringent requirements on the quartz flexible accelerometer. The stability test cycle is only several times more than the conventional product. In order to provide the most reliable products for "Tianzhou No.1", in the past 8 months, the technicians carried out harsh tests on the products such as temperature cycling, vibration shock and low pressure. Wei Chao, the chief designer, said, "The temperature cycle requires technicians to stay up all night for more than a week. The accuracy test must be repeated more than 20 times. We must use the most rigorous means to screen out the comprehensive and optimal products."

Quartz Flexible Accelerometer: Making Rendezvous And Docking More 'warm'

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