Rockwell International's Satellite Systems Division in Seal Beach recently completed a plant modernization program to support the mass production of 28 satellites. The modernization program consisted of multiple satellite integration and test stations and environmental test facilities, which included a high intensity acoustic test chamber, contained within a 4,645 m2 (50,000 ft2) cleanroom. This paper discusses the design philosophy, construction, integration, and activation of the high intensity acoustic test chamber for production acceptance testing of satellites.

The 906m3 (32,000 ft3) acoustic test cell consists of a steel reinforced concrete chamber with six electropneumatic noise generators. One of the innovative features of the chamber is a unique quarter hom assembly that acoustically couples the noise generators to the chamber. Design concepts, model testing, and evaluation results are presented in the paper. Considerations such as nitrogen versus compressed air source, digital closed loop spectrum control versus manual equalizers, and microprocessor based interlock systems are included in the discussion. Construction difficulties, anomalies encountered, and their resolution are also discussed. Results of the readiness demonstration testing are highlighted, and the paper concludes with illustrations and discussion of the first series of tests performed in the test cell.

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