CPP Provides Wind Analysis for Rocket Test Stand Upgrades
SLS Model of B-2 Test Stand in CPP Wind Tunnel. Fort Collins, CO.
NASA’s new heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch System rocket (SLS), is scheduled to fly to space on its first mission in 2017. Before taking off for flight, the core stage of SLS will be tested in the B-2 test stand at the Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The B-2 test stand was originally used to test Saturn rockets that took humans to the moon. The testing will ensure mission success and safety, therefore it was imperative for NASA to successfully renovate and upgrade the test stand.
The team at NASA took 18 months to conduct structural, mechanical, and electrical system evaluations before beginning the restoration. During this time, Prime Engineering hired CPP to test the wind loads on the proposed structure design.
CPP built a 1:100 (31-inch) scale model of the B-2 test stand and conducted wind tunnel testing on the model in August 2013. CPP analyzed the wind loads on the test stand structure and on the rocket engine. CPP’s results allowed NASA to complete the redesign of the B-2 test stand in order to meet building codes and ensure the structure achieved its maximum capacity, while also reducing steel use and minimizing costs.
NASA is on track to begin testing at the facility in 2016 and planning to launch in 2017. CPP is proud to have assisted in a project that furthers the United States’ capabilities for future space exploration.
Click here for a description of the project on NASA’s website.