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.


 
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 

 

Air Force places 18 A-10 aircraft into ‘Backup Status’

The Air Force, with congressional authorization, will convert 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from active units and place them into Backup-Aircraft Inventory status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015. The secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total...
 
 

AFRL shape-changing materials make form a function

Air Force Research Laboratory research is shaping the future of aerospace. Through research into soft materials called liquid crystal elastomers, AFRL scientists have developed a method to locally program the mechanical response in polymer sheets without the use of actuators and traditional mechanical parts. This research (sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)...
 
 
Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph

Air Force Research Labís handheld imaging tool expands aircraft inspection capability

Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph An operator demonstrates the portability of the handheld imaging tool. The technology provides maintainers the ability to evaluate aircraft in the field to ensure mission-readiness. When pilots c...
 




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>