Defense

June 28, 2013

Weapons Division sets world record on China Lake track

More than one million pounds of thrust is produced in about .9 seconds to push a test item down the Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track during a recent record-setting test at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake.

A team of scientists and engineers at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, Calif., recently set a world record for producing the most thrust for a rocket sled test on the Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track at China Lake.

The team spent about nine months preparing for the test event held on April 26 that produced 1.14 million pounds of thrust in about .9 seconds. That roughly equals the amount of thrust generated by all three space shuttle main engines at lift-off, or six Boeing 777s at take off,

“By far, that’s the largest amount of thrust that’s ever been attempted anywhere as far as we know,” said Ty Denney, lead engineer at SNORT. “This was a final event for a test series that started back in 2007. It was an epic means to close out the test program.”

It took 131 individual motors to achieve this milestone – 114 MK-16 Mod 2/3 Zuni rocket motors and 17 Multiple Launch Rocket System motors. The gross weight for the sled was 74,000 pounds. On average, a sled used at SNORT usually weighs about 4,000 pounds with the test item generally weighing in at about 2,000 pounds.

Completing this test event was a joint effort that required teamwork from across multiple functions at NAWCWD. Denney led the team on the one-of-a-kind sled design. The design itself took about a year-and-a-half to complete from scratch. The machine shop in the NAWCWD Weapons and Energetics Department fabricated the sled over a period of five months.

“There was a lot of cross-command effort to pull this off,” said Eric Laskey, a branch head at SNORT. “Everything about this test was large in scope and scale – from loading the propulsion and the instrumentation, to transporting the sled to the track.  It truly takes a team effort to accomplish a test like this.”

The sled traveled more than 13,600 feet in about 30 seconds and met the test objective of 16.8 Gs acceleration.

The aft end of a one-of-a-kind test sled carries 131 individual motors that are used to generate 1.14 million pounds of thrust during a record-setting test on the Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, Calif.

“The G force was not a record, but because the test item was so heavy, the amount of thrust it took to achieve that acceleration was the record,” Denney said. “The goal wasn’t to be fast. The goal was to induce a certain amount of acceleration on the test item, and we achieved that.”

Stopping the sled on the track was no small feat. Water-braking was used to bring the behemoth sled to a stop over the distance of about 1.5 miles. Water flows into the middle of the track from SNORT’s 500,000 gallon pond, and is recirculated during the test using a pump.

“The water brake scoops the water out of the track trough and shoots it out the sides of the sled,” Denney explained. “It was the largest water brake we have ever built. We entered the water at 400 mph, so it was going to take quite a bit to bring the big sled to a stop.”

Several records have been set and broken recently at SNORT, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013. This test broke the in-house record that was set at SNORT last June. The peak average thrust achieved during that sled test was 800,000 pounds.

“This test was one for the books,” said Denney. “Years from now people will look back on this event and ask ‘Did we really do that?’”

SNORT is the Navy’s only rocket sled test facility and at 4.1 miles is the second longest high-speed track in the world. The facility provides high-speed testing that allows systems to be evaluated under controlled, dynamic conditions.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 20, 2014

News: Navy grounds ‘Top Guns’ - The F/A-18s needs spare parts and in too many cases they’re being taken from brand new jets. This is a risk to national security and pilots’ lives.   Business: Boeing seeks revised schedule for U.S. aerial tanker - Boeing is revising its master schedule for developing the new U.S. Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs October 20, 2014

New military medical team to help with Ebola in U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the United States. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team...
 
 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 

 
Boeing photographs

Boeing-built X-37B successfully completes third flight

Unmanned spacecraft concludes record-setting 674-day mission   Boeing photograph A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg...
 
 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

AF to release small business research solicitations

The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program office is set to release its fiscal year 2015 list of topics Oct. 22, on the SBIR/STTR website.  Small businesses and research institutions with expertise to address the topics’ technology challenges are encouraged to submit proposals. During 2014, the Defense Department SBIR...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>