Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

18 April 2015

Ariane 5 1/96, pt.13

And on we go with building Herschel. I made some progress in the build, but it goes slowly. And I know why: I enjoy it. A year or so ago I also made an attempt to make the two  telescopes but in 1/48th, the scale in which I usually make satellites and probes. But it just wouldn't go. I think it partially has something to do with the fact that I just like building small. And this is fun.

Last time I left you with the finished service module. This time, I am as far as the photo below. More of the build after the jump.

Here you see my big hand holding the service module with the cryostat vessel on top, which was detailed with some plumbing and wiring.

I started out with a strip of silver coloured paper. I detailed it when it was still flat with carved lines and holes which represent all the connector points on the vessel. I used John Jogerst's model as a template for the holes and lines. Then I masked half of it and after a layer of primer to give the paint a better grip, I painted the surface looking forward matt black. The back remained silver coloured.
The part was curved and glued. The clothes pins I use are reversed, to get a better grip.

One of the radiators on the cryostat vessel. The part facing the backside also remained silver, the front was painted black. These parts also got a layer of primer before I painted them.

In the meantime I als started out making the latticework that connects the cryostat to the service module. I used pieces of pins for the frame and two strips of paper for the attachment.
The cryostat begins to take shape. From thin iron wire I made the plumbing over the body. I used photos for reference but in the end what you see here is merely an impression of the real thing. Thread was too hairy to use in this scale and this stuff looked nice enough from a regular distance. Keep in mind that what you see here is much bigger than the real size.

The latticework cut out and readied for gluing.
Joined together with the screen between the cryostat and service module added.
The backside. This cryostat vessel is a supercooled device to keep the insides very close to absolute zero (0ºKelvin, or -273ºC). Herschel's three main instruments inside worked at two degrees above the absolute zero. 2300 liters of liquid helium 'boiled' away in a vacuum at 1.4º above zero to cool the instruments. This also meant the lifespan of Herschel was limited. Without the helium, HIFI, PACS and SPIRE wouldn't work properly. they estimated Herschel would work for 3 years but in the end it lasted four years. 
Inside the cryostat are the instruments for Herschel's primary mission. Three ingenious machines that can scan the heavens in the far infrared spectrum and the sub-millimeter scale. On board one of the most important components is called HIFI. It is used for the far infrared and is built and designed in my home town. Something you can be proud of. This technology is very very high-tech stuff. I have seen the spare model at SRON a coupl eof weeks ago. The instrument's main part is machined out of one big block of aluminium. Impressive stuff. I toyed with making the three instruments inside the cryostat to be shown but it would have made the whole probe just too fragile.

Then I added some more electrical wire connections between the cryostat and the service module.

Some more plumbing. Brass rod was used for this part.

Up next: the sun shade annex solar panel. It is used to protect Herschel from the sun's rays and heat and to keep the dish in the shade. This way, the observations are as clean as possible. I changed the blue solar panels of the original model into the dark blackish ones I saw on most photos. My aim is to cut out the solar panels, use a silver coloured part for the backside's top part and use aluminium foil of chocolate wrapper for the inside.
This and more next time.
Thanks for watching and see you next time.

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