Made-in-Chengdu to help Shenzhou spacecraft return

Updated: 2011-11-10 03:21


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The Shenzhou VIII spacecraft was launched under the spotlight at 5:58 am, Nov 1. It will safely land controlled by a statical pressure altitude controller, made in Chengdu. The controller, made by AVIC Chengdu CAIC Electronics Co Ltd, has been applied in Chinese spacecrafts from Shenzhou I through to Shenzhou XIII.

Industry experts say the device is a core component of the spacecraft recovery system. It is a class-A product of the spacecraft, a key control unit to open up the parachute system for the spacecraft recovery capsule. When the spacecraft's returning capsule enters the atmosphere, 11km above the ground, the statical pressure altitude controller, installed in the inner wall of the returning capsule, will issue an order to open the parachute.

Having received the signal, the spacecraft control operation system will pull out the drogue parachute, parachute, brake parachute and main chute, successively. When the spacecraft lands to the height of 6km or 5km above the ground, the statical pressure altitude controller sends out a signal, monitoring whether the main chute works normally.

If the main chute comes across any technical malfunctions, the statical pressure altitude controller will again send an order to start up the reserve parachute and ensure the spacecraft recovery capsule to land in absolute safety.

In addition, the company supplies two models of the pressure annunciator for Shenzhou VIII. They are applied in the spacecraft butt joint pressure control facility and target the aircraft’s oxygen supply component. As functional units of the butt joint pressure control facility, the two annunciators are installed in the track cabin transporting the spacecraft. As functional units of the oxygen supply components, they are installed in the target aircraft experiment module. They are mainly applied to feel and indicate pressure changes of the components, to furnish credible pressure data guarantee to the spacecraft control system.