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NASA Plum Brook Station In-Space Propulsion Facility Test Stand Characterization Hot Fire TestA test facility modification to enable small scale altitude propulsion testing at the NASA Glenn Research Center's In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Facility was verified with a hot fire test campaign. As the facility's primary steam supply system undergoes refurbishment, the alternate facility configuration, known as the "vacuum accumulator" mode, would enable rocket engine testing up to 10,000 lbf thrust. The NASA Johnson Space Center developed the vehicle for the verification test campaign: the Integrated Cryogenic Propulsion Test Article (ICPTA). Constructed primarily from assets of the former Morpheus Project, the ICPTA provided an integrated liquid oxygen (LOX) / liquid methane (LCH4) propulsion system including a 2,800 lbf thrust main engine. The ISP Facility's vacuum accumulator configuration leveraged the large test volume of the facility and a diffuser insert to maintain altitude conditions. During hot fire, the ICPTA main engine "started" the diffuser insert constructed for the test campaign. As a result, the test chamber upstream of the diffuser insert remained at altitude conditions throughout the hot fire. Upon engine shut down, a backflow deflector mitigated blow back into the test chamber by restricting the mass flow and redirecting it away from the test article. The test campaign successfully characterized the performance of the vacuum accumulator configuration. In addition, it provided an opportunity to collect data for an integrated LOX / LCH4 propulsion system in an altitude and thermal vacuum environment.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jones, Brian K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Zang, John C.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Weaver, Harold F.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Connelly, Nicholas A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hill, Gerald M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 17, 2018
Publication Date
July 7, 2018
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Joint Propulsion Conference
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Country: United States
Start Date: July 7, 2018
End Date: July 13, 2018
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 750271.01.03
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Rocket Engine Testing
Test Facility
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