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 January 28, 2015

News: Panel will propose new military retirement system - The long-awaited report on military compensation set to drop Thursday will propose fundamental changes to military retirement and health care benefits, according to several people familiar with the report. Source: DOD to request $585 billion for fiscal 2016 - The Department of Defense is preparing to submit a...
 
 

News Briefs January 28, 2015

Defense contractor to pay $2 million to settle claims A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento says Sacramento-based Composite Engineering Inc. agreed to pay the money to end allegations that it artificially inflated...
 
 
Navy photograph

USS Roosevelt marks 200,000 trap

Navy photograph An F/A-18F Super Hornet flown by Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, complet...
 

 
Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned

USS California returns from maiden deployment

Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned The Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) returns from its maiden deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London. Under the command of Cmdr. Shawn Huey, Ca...
 
 
Army photograph

Army proves new watercraft capabilities

Army photograph Marine Corps assets are loaded onto the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005), from an U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility, or LCU, USAV Port Hudson during port operations, at White Beach Naval Base, Jan. 22, 2015. Sold...
 
 

Orbital stockholders approve merger with ATK’s aerospace, defense groups

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Jan. 27 that at a special meeting, the company’s stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc., pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99 percent of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor...
 




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>