Tech

August 21, 2013

NASA crashes helicopter to study safety

NASA researchers will drop a 45-foot-long helicopter fuselage from a height of about 30 feet to test improved seat belts and seats and advance experimental techniques and crashworthiness data.

News media representatives are invited to observe the drop test, scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 28, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. U.S. media members must email Kathy Barnstorff at kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov or call 757-864-9886 for credentials no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27. Researchers will be available for interviews after the test.

NASA is collaborating with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and Federal Aviation Administration on the Transport Rotorcraft Airframe Crash Test Bed full-scale crash tests at Langley’s Landing and Impact Research Facility.

“We have instrumented a former Marine helicopter airframe with cameras and accelerometers,” said lead test engineer Martin Annett. “Almost 40 cameras inside and outside the helicopter will record how 13 crash test dummies react before, during and after impact.”

During the test, onboard computers will record more than 350 channels of data as the helicopter is swung by cables, like a pendulum, into a bed of soil. Just before impact, pyrotechnic devices release the suspension cables from the helicopter to allow free flight. The helicopter will hit the ground at about 30 mph. The impact condition represents a severe but survivable condition under both civilian and military requirements.

For the first time ever in any test, technicians installed a video game motion sensor in the helicopter. “We want to see if it is useful as an additional way to track the movements of the dummies,” said test engineer Justin Littell.

The outside of the fuselage also is new for this test. Technicians painted one entire side in black polka dots over a white background — a photographic technique called full field photogrammetry. Each dot represents a data point. High-speed cameras filming at 500 images per second track each dot, so after over the drop researchers can plot and see exactly how the fuselage buckled, bent, cracked or collapsed under crash loads.

Another crash test of a similar helicopter equipped with additional technology, including composite airframe retrofits, is planned for next year. Both tests are part of the Rotary Wing Project in the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

The Navy provided the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter fuselages, seats, crash test dummies and other experiments for the test. The Army contributed a litter experiment with a crash test dummy. The Federal Aviation Administration provided a side-facing specialized crash test dummy and part of the data acquisition system. Cobham Life Support-St. Petersburg, a division of CONAX Florida Corporation, also contributed an active restraint system for the cockpit.

NASA will use the results of both tests in efforts to improve rotorcraft performance and efficiency, in part by assessing the reliability of high performance, lightweight composite materials. Researchers also want to increase industry knowledge and create more complete computer models that can be used to design better helicopters.

The ultimate goal of NASA rotary wing research is to help make helicopters and other vertical take-off and landing vehicles more serviceable — able to carry more passengers and cargo — quicker, quieter, safer and greener. Improved designs might allow helicopters to be used more extensively in the airspace system.
The following address for a live-stream will be activated just prior to the test:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/NASA-lrc
For more information about NASA Aeronautics research, go to:
http://aeronautics.nasa.gov




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 29, 2015

News: Lockheed F-35s reliability found wanting in shipboard testing¬†– The Marine Corps’ version of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter demonstrated poor reliability in a 12-day exercise at sea, according to the U.S. military’s top testing officer.   Business: Rockwell Collins to upgrade Boeing comms system¬†– Rockwell Collins will upgrade the low-frequency transmi...
 
 

News Briefs July 29, 2015

U.S. Navy examines health concerns near Guantanamo court A complaint lodged with the Pentagon has prompted the U.S. Navy to look into the possible presence of anything that may cause cancer in a section of the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a military spokeswoman said July 28. The Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center and...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier An E-3 Sentry AWACS from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepares to land May 16, 2015. AWACS have the capability to detect enemy as well as friendly aircraft at great distances usi...
 

 

Remains of Pearl Harbor victims raised for identification

The military July 27 exhumed more caskets containing the unidentified remains of USS Oklahoma crew members killed in the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disinterred five coffins from four grave sites at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, where they have rested for decades. The work is...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing Oklahoma City expansion grows facilities, business presence

Boeing photograph July 29, Boeing broke ground on a new laboratory facility in Oklahoma City. Mayor Mick Cornett, Commissioner Brian Maughan, President of Boeing Global Services and Support Leanne Caret, Oklahoma Governor Mary ...
 
 

NASA awards contract to support agency’s human spaceflight programs

NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories Inc., of El Segundo, Calif., to provide biomedical, medical and health services in support of all human spaceflight programs at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The work supports ongoing research aboard the International Space Station and helps enable the journey to Mars. The Human Health and Performance contract...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>