A data treatment tool for a satellite thruster test facility

Abstract: This work introduces and discusses CATPA (Computer Aided Thruster Performance Analysis), a user friendly data treatment software specially developed for INPE’s Satellite Thruster Test Facility. This facility is a ground-based structure that can emulate the space environment for testing and qualifying satellite thrusters and satellite propulsive loops. A structure like this requires the prompt availability of data treatment tools which must be extensible to encapsulate the particular needs of the customers. The original data treatment package supplied by the test bench development team needed a strong work to customize the available features. However several constraints were imposed for us, like: a) support for low amount of data; b) large time slices were required for processing the acquired data; c) poor final output quality; d) specific hardware requirements; e) non portability; f) specific language used for coding the scripts; etc. The CATPA came up to override these constraints and to make the data treatment easier and much more powerful. It uses modern concepts like design patterns and standard template library, making the reuse of code and the rapid application development easier to be reached.

Below is an excellent video where Aguinaldo Serra Jr shows BTSA (Banco de Testes com Simulação de Altitude) where CATPA was developed at the beginning of decade and is still used today.