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Payload

Engineering or Science Concept

Whether the payload in question is designed for engineering data or scientific data, T & M Engineering can supply solutions that allow mission objectives to be achieved. Scientific payloads designed by T & M Engineering have flown on 34 missions; most recent missions include three dedicated payloads for Mir. Instrument Comrade Active (ICA) launched in 1995 measured contamination effects, AO erosion and particle fluences beaming the data back to ground utilising the Mir communications system. The Particle Impact Experiment (PIE) was deployed on Mir in 1996 and retrieved in 1997. This payload not only measured impact flux it also captured intact particles thus enabling characterisation of particulates into micrometeoroid and debris. In addition, a radiation detector and a number of materials and coatings were also exposed for material environmental effects analysis. T & M Engineering also supplied the Thermal Coating Calorimeters for the NASA Optical Properties Monitor (OPM). After developing environmental effects scientific payloads it was apparent that the data derived is valid for other payloads in as much as the other payloads are subjected to the same space environment. To that end what started out as a science payload is now routinely flown as an engineering payload giving critical data on the environment to control the operation of a major payload. An example of such a mission is the current SAGE III mission whereby contamination monitors are used as a housekeeping/health monitor for the operations on the main instrument. T & M Engineering can offer engineering solutions to protect instruments from the detrimental effects of contamination through deploying contamination monitors in close proximity and activating on-orbit protection systems.