NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Objectives and Progress on Ground Vibration Testing for the Ares ProjectsIntegrated vehicle ground vibration testing (IVGVT) will be a vital component for ensuring the safety of NASA s next generation of exploration vehicles to send human beings to the Moon and beyond. A ground vibration test (GVT) measures the fundamental dynamic characteristics of launch vehicles during various phases of flight. The Ares Flight & Integrated Test Office (FITO) will be conducting the IVGVT for the Ares I crew launch vehicle at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) from 2012 to 2014 using Test Stand (TS) 4550. MSFC conducted similar GVT for the Saturn V and Space Shuttle vehicles. FITO will perform the IVGVT on the Ares I crew launch vehicle, which will lift the Orion crew exploration vehicle to low Earth orbit, and the Ares V cargo launch vehicle, which can launch the lunar lander into orbit and send the combined Orion/lander vehicles toward the Moon. Ares V consists of a six-engine core stage with two solid rocket boosters and an Earth departure stage (EDS). The same engine will power the EDS and the Ares I second stage. The current plan is to test six configurations in three unique test positions inside TS 4550. Four Ares I second stage test configurations will be tested in Position 3, consisting of the Upper Stage and Orion crew module in four nominal conditions: J-2X engine ignition, post Launch Abort System (LAS) jettison, critical slosh mass, and J-2X burn-out. Position 2 consists of the entire launch stack at first stage burn-out (using empty first stage segments). Position 1 represents the entire launch stack at lift-off (using inert first stage segments). Because of long disuse, TS 4550 is being repaired and modified for reactivation to conduct the Ares I IVGVT. The Shuttle-era platforms have been removed and are being replaced with mast climbers that provide ready access to the test articles and can be moved easily to support different positions within the test stand. Two new cranes will help move test articles at the test stand and at the Redstone Arsenal rail-head where first stage segments will be received in late 2010. The electrical system for TS 4550 also will be upgraded. The Hydraulic Support Systems (HDSs) used for Saturn and Shuttle are being disassembled and evaluated for use during IVGVT. Analyses indicate that the 45-year-old HDSs can be refurbished to support the Ares I IVGT. An alternate concept for a pneumatic suspension system is also being explored. A decision on which suspension system configuration to use for IVGVT will be made in 2010.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tuma, Margaret L.
(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
April 25, 2010
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
SpaceOps 2010 Conference: Delivering on the Dream(Huntsville, AL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available