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During the advanced and final development phases of rocket engine component and subsystem testing failures are very likely to occur from time to time. To minimize or prevent damage or destruction to the components and to the test facility itself, high pressure oxygen supplied must be cut off rapidly on the order of 100 to 400 milliseconds. However, rapid cutoff of liquid oxygen, as well as, other liquids and high pressure gases can impart large pressure surges and hammer forces. For liquid and gaseous oxygen this phenomenon can initiate ignition and subsequent destruction of test articles as well as facility piping systems.
An additional concern is the use of liquid oxygen pressure and flow control valves required to operate these type of facilities. Pressure differentials across valves and induced turbulence and flow separation must be understood and analyzed during facility design.
hammer force, pressure surge, rapid system shutdown, adiabatic compressive heating, adiabatic compression, “dead leg”, gas generator, preburner, main combustion chamber, combustion device, cavitation, ignition hazards, test profile, pressurant, pressure fed system, “hardwire” test termination system, Rapid Overboard Pressurant Bleed, Rapid Pressurant Isolation, electronic facility control system, servo-valve, “cascading valve closure”, “diverter bleed”, “equal percent” throttling, linear throttling, head equilibrium, pressure drop, Turn Down Ratio
Lead Mechanical Project Engineer, Component Test Facility Project Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS
Propulsion Test Engineer, Propulsion Test Operations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS