Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Paul van Susante

Committee Member 1

Sajjad Bigham

Committee Member 2

Ye Sun


The Dusty Thermal Vacuum Chamber (DTVAC) is a new facility purchased by the Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab (PSTDL) that will be used to test the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of extraplanetary devices and systems. With the use of vacuum pumps and simulated regolith, the DTVAC can create extraplanetary environments such as those found on the Moon and Mars. This report details the actions that were taken to prepare the DTVAC for TRL testing, including the development of a Data Acquisition Center (DAC) and test fixtures, along with the findings of baseline tests that were performed to understand the behavior of the DTVAC. In the future, the DTVAC will be used to test devices designed for use in the lunar polar regions with the help of the PSTDL icy regolith creation facilities.