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Refurbishment and Automation of the Thermal/Vacuum Facilities at the Goddard Space Flight CenterThe thermal/vacuum facilities located at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) have supported both manned and unmanned space flight since the 1960s. Of the 11 facilities, currently 10 of the systems are scheduled for refurbishment and/or replacement as part of a 5-year implementation. Expected return on investment includes the reduction in test schedules, improvements in the safety of facility operations, reduction in the complexity of a test and the reduction in personnel support required for a test. Additionally, GSFC will become a global resource renowned for expertise in thermal engineering, mechanical engineering and for the automation of thermal/vacuum facilities and thermal/vacuum tests. Automation of the thermal/vacuum facilities includes the utilization of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and the use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These components allow the computer control and automation of mechanical components such as valves and pumps. In some cases, the chamber and chamber shroud require complete replacement while others require only mechanical component retrofit or replacement. The project of refurbishment and automation began in 1996 and has resulted in the computer control of one Facility (Facility #225) and the integration of electronically controlled devices and PLCs within several other facilities. Facility 225 has been successfully controlled by PLC and SCADA for over one year. Insignificant anomalies have occurred and were resolved with minimal impact to testing and operations. The amount of work remaining to be performed will occur over the next four to five years. Fiscal year 1998 includes the complete refurbishment of one facility, computer control of the thermal systems in two facilities, implementation of SCADA and PLC systems to support multiple facilities and the implementation of a Database server to allow efficient test management and data analysis.
Document ID
19990009930
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Donohue, John T.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Johnson, Chris
(NSI, Inc. Greenbelt, MD United States)
Ogden, Rick
(NSI, Inc. Greenbelt, MD United States)
Sushon, Janet
(NSI, Inc. Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: 20th Space Simulation Conference: The Changing Testing Paradigm
Subject Category
Ground Support Systems And Facilities (Space)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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