Rocket Engine Thrust Stand
Characterization of solid, liquid, and hybrid rocket motors is often performed by computer modeling and ground testing. For experimental fuels, aerospike nozzles and other experimental altitude-compensated nozzles, ground tests are required to characterize their thrust curves and Isp under static test conditions. To do this, an LCF series load cell is installed between the rocket engine and the thrust test stand. In addition to thrust, the incorporation of four three-axis load cells in the rocket engine test stand base mounts allows direct measurement of engine mass flow and, under certain circumstances, also measurement of vectored exhaust thrust. The rocket engine thrust rig is based on the design of the Swiss Propulsion Laboratory (SPL).
How it works :
- In this rocket motor thrust bench application, the rocket motor is threaded into the LCF series universal load cell.
- The mounting of the rocket motor test stand prevents any side loading on the sensor, ensuring that the load cell experiences only axial loads.
- The entire load cell is mounted on a fixed thrust measurement test stand that fixes the engine (rocket test stand).
- MTA400/MTA600 multi-axis load cells are installed in line with the base mounts.
- When the engine is running, the thrust is measured with the LCF series load cells.
- Mass flow and drag (aka "kick") are recorded with the MTA400/MTA600 sensors.
- Thrust data can be transmitted live and recorded for monitoring and later review and comparison with simulated models with USB220 and SENSIT.
- Mass flow data from all 4 multi-axis load cells is captured, streamed and recorded with USB220 and SENSIT.
- Each axis of the MTA400/MTA600 is recorded with a separate USB220.
- The load cell output can also be amplified via the IAA series for subsequent acquisition by pre-existing DAQs.