The pallet-mounted module is composed of two separate, redundant units to generate heated air that flows into the payload container through four pipes. The module provides a continuous airflow, heated at a pre-selected temperature, during the entire transport sequence - from ground preparations to completion of the flight.
Airflow temperatures range from +5 deg. C to +25 deg. C, and the airflow rate is 2,400 to 2,600 sq. meters per hour.
Control and monitoring is performed using a panel located in proximity to the heating module for the ground phases, and from a cockpit-mounted panel during flight.
All parameters for the heating module's operation can be monitored permanently, and are recorded throughout the mission. The selected air temperature can be modified at any moment if required.
Depending on container configuration and customer requirements, the heating system may be fitted with Class 100,000 filters, no filters at all, or simple filters.
The heating module’s capabilities have been demonstrated in operational charter flights, including the transport of a Spot Earth resources spacecraft from Europe to the Ariane launch base in French Guiana. For shipment, the Spot payload was separated into two containers - one with the spacecraft bus, and the other with the satellite's imaging telescopes. During the trans-Atlantic flight, the heating module provided temperature-controlled air to both containers - ensuing this high-value payload arrived in excellent condition for its subsequent launch aboard an Ariane 4.
More on the Beluga aircraft
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FAST #58 / August 2016- Flight operational commonality
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