LARES Satellite has been conceived adopting an innovative design. The main body of the satellite is in fact made of one single piece of tungsten alloy. It is a passive satellite and it has been launched successfully on the 13th of February 2012 with the first flight of the new launcher, VEGA. LARES mission has been developed for testing Einstein general relativity and in particular the Lense-Thirring effect. LARES weights almost 400 kg and its surface is covered with 92 cube corner reflectors (CCR s) made of fused silica. The satellite orbit is reconstructed using the data collected by laser ranging stations belonging to the International Laser Ranging Service. This innovative design, due to the particular material used, needed accurate testing of the optical components because of the high temperatures expected on the satellite operative life. A series of tests to qualify the design have been performed in the Thermal Vacuum Chamber of Sapienza University in Rome. In this paper the results will be summarized. Copyright © (2012) by the International Astronautical Federation.
Thermal tests on LARES satellite components / PAOLOZZI, Antonio; I., Ciufolini; PARIS, Claudio; D., Spano; G., Battaglia; R., Neubert. - STAMPA. - 8:(2012), pp. 6653-6657. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 63rd International Astronautical Congress tenutosi a Naples; Italy nel 1-5 October, 2012.