Thermal vacuum (TVAC) testing is a critical step in qualifying components and systems for spaceflight. Major investments in time and materials are required to develop instrumented vacuum chambers that enable accurate and reliable testing of devices and systems as though they were in space.

Eravant has developed a line of TVAC-safe components constructed with low outgassing materials and adhesives that withstand cryogenic temperatures and repeated exposure to large temperature gradients. These include a series of hermetically sealed coaxial bulkhead feedthroughs with 1.0, 1.35, 1.85, 2.4 and 2.92 mm and SMA connectors.

For the highest frequency mmWave systems, the model SCT-1F1F-UB-B-V is a 1.0 mm female-to-female bulkhead coaxial adapter that uses a glass bead and an O-ring seal to provide a hermetically sealed RF interface between the vacuum and atmosphere environments. At 110 GHz, insertion loss is 2 dB with return loss of 13 dB. Leakage from the atmosphere to the vacuum is less than 1 x 10-8cc/s of helium at 1 atmosphere. In addition to TVAC testing, the adapter is well-suited for cryostats used in imaging systems, wafer probe stations, spectrometers, bolometers and radio telescopes operating at mmWave frequencies.

Eravant’s TVAC-safe components also include waveguide-to-coaxial adapters, directional couplers, waveguide attenuators, compact isolators and waveguide terminations. The waveguide-to-coaxial adapters cover the waveguide bands from WR28 through WR10, including end-launch and right-angle configurations. TVAC-capable waveguide attenuators are offered with standard and custom attenuation levels. Compact waveguide isolators suitable for TVAC testing typically provide 0.5 dB insertion loss and 18 dB isolation.

Torrance, Calif.