The vacuum chamber was operated by DLR’s solar oven group, and could reach an absolute pressure of
1 mbar. It provided multiple electrical connection points and well as interfaces for water transport into and
out of the chamber. The solar simulator could provide a continuous energy flux of 1.1 MW/m2.
The setup was positioned into the vacuum chamber, and the electrical and water interfaces were
connected. Using the end stops, the zero points of the stages were established, and the
feeding rate and offset was adjusted to achieve optimum spread of regolith powder during operation. After
this, the vacuum chamber was positioned in front of the solar simulator, and the beam spot calibrated so
that it would impact at the correct position. Depressurisation commenced and sintering
started when the vacuum chamber reached a pressure of approximately 2 mbar.
Vaccum chamber set-up, DLR, 2017