These tests were to confirm that Australis operated as designed over the range of temperatures expected in space. This meant that we needed to test in a cold chamber and also in a hot chamber. Our main concern was that the VHF transmitter, the HF transmitter and the command receiver would not change frequencies when subjected to temperature extremes.
The cold chamber was provided by the Glaciology Department of the University of Melbourne. Their interest was principally ice, snow and glaciers in the Antarctic and so they had a range of cold chambers which they (unknowingly) allowed us to use. Click here to see a gallery of images of AO5 in Glaciology's cold chamber.
A hot temperature test chamber was a little more challenging for us, however. And yet, each of us had an oven where we lived. So it was that Australis was tested in Richard's oven. However, on the night of the test Richard had invited a friend over to cook dinner for him. (Such things were OK in those days.) She duly arrived and was told that there was a satellite in the oven. What to do? Abandon the test for dinner or wait for the testing to be completed? Dinner waited on Australis. A credit to Pauline's good nature - she and Richard will soon celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. Oh, and Australis survived the evening.
Click here for some pictures of testing at NASA Goddard in 1969 from the September edition of the QST magazine.