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Objectives and Progress on Ground Vibration Testing for the Ares Launch VehiclesNASA has conducted dynamic tests on each of its major launch vehicles during the past 45 years. Each test has provided invaluable data to correlate and correct analytical models used to predict structural responses to differing dynamics for these vehicles. With both Saturn V and Space Shuttle, hardware changes were also required to the flight vehicles to ensure crew and vehicle safety. The Ares I IVGVT will undoubtedly provide similar valuable test data to support successful flights of the Constellation Program. The IVGVT will provide test determined natural frequencies, mode shapes and damping for the Ares I. This data will be used to support controls analysis by providing this test data to reduce uncertainty in the models. The value of this testing has been proven by past launch vehicle successes and failures. Performing dynamic testing on the Ares vehicles will provide confidence that the launch vehicles will be safe and successful in their missions. In addition, IVGVT will provide the following benefits for the Ares rockets: a) IVGVT data along with Ares development flights like Ares I-X, Ares I-Y, Ares I-X Prime, and Orion-1 or others will reduce the risk to the Orion-2 crew. IVGVT will permit anchoring the various analytical and operational models used in so many different aspects of Ares operations. b) IVGVT data will permit better understanding of the structural and GN&C margins of the spacecraft and may permit mass savings or expanded day-of-launch opportunities or fewer constraints to launch. c) Undoubtedly IVGVT will uncover some of the "unknown unknowns" so often seen in developing, launching, and flying new spacecraft vehicles and data from IVGVT may help prevent a loss of vehicle or crew. d) IVGVT also will be the first time Ares I flight-like hardware is transported, handled, rotated, mated, stacked, and integrated. e) Furthermore, handling and stacking the IVGVT launch vehicle stacks will be an opportunity to understand certain aspects of vehicle operability much better (for example, handling procedures, touch-labor time to accomplish tasks, access at interfaces, access to stage mating bolts, access to avionics boxes, access to the Interstage, GSE functionality, and many other important aspects of Ares I operability). All of these results will provide for better vehicle safety and better stewardship of national resources as NASA begins its next phase of human space exploration.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tuma, Margaret L.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Askins, Bruce R.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Chenevert, Donald J.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 5, 2009
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting(Florida)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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