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Re-entry Flight Demonstration No. 1 (RFD-1): Optical Data and Fuel-Element Experiment

Description: This report on the RFD-1 optical data and external fuel-element experiment includes a description of the instruments and test components used, a presentation of the data obtained, an explanation of the methods of data reduction employed, and a statement of the conclusions derived. It covers the theory, design, qualification tests, flight-test data, and results of the external fuel-element experiment. Also presented is a theoretical analysis of observed versus predicted ablation times and altitudes for the external fuel elements. In addition, this report presents recommendations for improvements to data acquisition and reduction methods in future, similar flight tests.
Date: October 1964
Creator: White, I. B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Re-entry Flight Demonstration Number One (RFD-1): Preflight Disassembly Analysis and Observed Disassembly of the Simulated SNAP-10A Reactor

Description: Abstract: This report describes the SNAP-10A Simulated Test Reactor, the test philosophy of Re-entry Flight Demonstration Number One, the analytical analysis of reactor disassembly, and the results of the flight test.
Date: September 1964
Creator: Klett, R. D.; Hysinger, T. M. & Robertson, M. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A High Resolution, Light-Weight, Synthetic Aperture Radar for UAV Application

Description: (U) Sandia National Laboratories in collaboration with General Atomics (GA) has designed and built a high resolution, light-weight, Ku-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) known as "Lynx". Although Lynx can be operated on a wide variety of manned and unmanned platforms, its design is optimized for use on medium altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS). In particular, it can be operated on the Predator, I-GNAT, and Prowler II platforms manufactured by GA. (U) The radar production weight is less than 120 lb and operates within a 3 GHz band from 15.2 GHz to 18.2 GHz with a peak output power of 320 W. Operating range is resolution and mode dependent but can exceed 45 km in adverse weather (4 mm/hr rain). Lynx has operator selectable resolution and is capable of 0.1 m resolution in spotlight mode and 0.3 m resolution in stripmap mode, over substantial depression angles (5 to 60 deg) and squint angles (broadside ±45 deg). Real-time Motion Compensation is implemented to allow high-quality image formation even during vehicle turns and other maneuvers.
Date: May 27, 1999
Creator: Doerry, A.W.; Hensley, W.H.; Stence, J.; Tsunoda, S.I. Pace, F.; Walker, B,C. & Woodring, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Ophir Corporation was awarded a contract by the U. S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory under the Project Title ''Airborne, Optical Remote Sensing of Methane and Ethane for Natural Gas Pipeline Leak Detection'' on October 14, 2002. The scope of the work involved designing and developing an airborne, optical remote sensor capable of sensing methane and, if possible, ethane for the detection of natural gas pipeline leaks. Flight testing using a custom dual wavelength, high power fiber amplifier was initiated in February 2005. Ophir successfully demonstrated the airborne system, showing that it was capable of discerning small amounts of methane from a simulated pipeline leak. Leak rates as low as 150 standard cubic feet per hour (scf/h) were detected by the airborne sensor.
Date: April 15, 2005
Creator: Myers, Jerry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report on HOLODEC 2 Technology Readiness Level

Description: During the period of this project, the Holographic Detector for Clouds 2 (HOLODEC 2) instrument has advanced from a laboratory-proven instrument with some initial field testing to a fully flight-tested instrument capable of providing useful cloud microphysics measurements. This can be summarized as 'Technology Readiness Level 8: Technology is proven to work - Actual technology completed and qualified through test and demonstration.' As part of this project, improvements and upgrades have been made to the optical system, the instrument power control system, the data acquisition computer, the instrument control software, the data reconstruction and analysis software, and some of the basic algorithms for estimating basic microphysical variables like droplet diameter. Near the end of the project, the instrument flew on several research flights as part of the IDEAS 2011 project, and a small sample of data from the project is included as an example. There is one caveat in the technology readiness level stated above: the upgrades to the instrument power system were made after the flight testing, so they are not fully field proven. We anticipate that there will be an opportunity to fly the instrument as part of the IDEAS project in fall 2012.
Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Shaw, R. A.; Spuler, S. M.; Beals, M.; Black, N.; Fugal, J. P. & Lu, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Precision guided parachute LDRD final report

Description: This report summarizes the results of the Precision Guided Parachute LDRD, a two year program at Sandia National Laboratories which developed a Global Positioning System (GPS) guided parachute capable of autonomous flight and landings. A detailed computer model of a gliding parachute was developed for software only simulations. A hardware in-the-loop simulator was developed and used for flight package system integration and design validation. Initial parachute drop tests were conducted at Sandia`s Coyote Canyon Cable Facility, followed by a series of airdrops using Ross Aircraft`s Twin Otter at the Burris Ranch Drop Zone. Final flights demonstrated in-flight wind estimation and the capability to fly a commanded heading. In the past, the cost and logistical complexity of an initial navigation system ruled out actively guiding a parachute. The advent of the low-cost, light-weight Global Positioning System (GPS) has eliminated this barrier. By using GPS position and velocity measurements, a guided parachute can autonomously steer itself to a targeted point on the ground through the use of control drums attached to the control lanyards of the parachute. By actively correcting for drop point errors and wind drift, the guidance accuracy of this system should be on the order of GPS position errors. This would be a significant improvement over unguided airdrops which may have errors of a mile or more.
Date: July 1, 1996
Creator: Gilkey, J.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High accuracy integrated global positioning system/inertial navigation system LDRD: Final report

Description: This report contains the results of a Sandia National Laboratories Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program to investigate the integration of Global Positioning System (GPS) and inertial navigation system (INS) technologies toward the goal of optimizing the navigational accuracy of the combined GPSANS system. The approach undertaken is to integrate the data from an INS, which has long term drifts, but excellent short term accuracy, with GPS carrier phase signal information, which is accurate to the sub-centimeter level, but requires continuous tracking of the GPS signals. The goal is to maintain a sub-meter accurate navigation solution while the vehicle is in motion by using the GPS measurements to estimate the INS navigation errors and then using the refined INS data to aid the GPS carrier phase cycle slip detection and correction and bridge dropouts in the GPS data. The work was expanded to look at GPS-based attitude determination, using multiple GPS receivers and antennas on a single platform, as a possible navigation aid. Efforts included not only the development of data processing algorithms and software, but also the collection and analysis of GPS and INS flight data aboard a Twin Otter aircraft. Finally, the application of improved navigation system accuracy to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) target location is examined.
Date: March 1, 1997
Creator: Owen, T.E.; Meindl, M.A. & Fellerhoff, J.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV): Flight testing and evaluation of two-channel E-field very low frequency (VLF) instrument

Description: Using VLF frequencies, transmitted by the Navy`s network, for airborne remote sensing of the earth`s electrical, magnetic characteristics was first considered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) around the mid 1970s. The first VLF system was designed and developed by the USGS for installation and operation on a single engine, fixed wing aircraft used by the Branch of Geophysics for geophysical surveying. The system consisted of five channels. Two E-field channels with sensors consisting of a fixed vertical loaded dipole antenna with pre-amp mounted on top of the fuselage and a gyro stabilized horizontal loaded dipole antenna with pre-amp mounted on a tail boom. The three channel magnetic sensor consisted of three orthogonal coils mounted on the same gyro stabilized platform as the horizontal E-field antenna. The main features of the VLF receiver were: narrow band-width frequency selection using crystal filters, phase shifters for zeroing out system phase variances, phase-lock loops for generating real and quadrature gates, and synchronous detectors for generating real and quadrature outputs. In the mid 1990s the Branch of Geophysics designed and developed a two-channel E-field ground portable VLF system. The system was built using state-of-the-art circuit components and new concepts in circuit architecture. Small size, light weight, low power, durability, and reliability were key considerations in the design of the instrument. The primary purpose of the instrument was for collecting VLF data during ground surveys over small grid areas. Later the system was modified for installation on a Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV). A series of three field trips were made to Easton, Maryland for testing and evaluating the system performance.
Date: December 1, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A miniature solid propellant rocket motor

Description: A miniature solid-propellant rocket motor has been developed to impart a specific motion to an object deployed in space. This rocket motor effectively eliminated the need for a cold-gas thruster system or mechanical spin-up system. A low-energy igniter, an XMC4397, employing a semiconductor bridge was used to ignite the rocket motor. The rocket motor was ground-tested in a vacuum tank to verify predicted space performance and successfully flown in a Sandia National Laboratories flight vehicle program.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Grubelich, M.C.; Hagan, M. & Mulligan, E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hazards of falling debris to people, aircraft, and watercraft

Description: This report is a collection of studies performed at Sandia National Laboratories in support of Phase One (inert debris) for the Risk and Lethality Commonality Team. This team was created by the Range Safety Group of the Range Commander`s Council to evaluate the safety issues for debris generated during flight tests and to develop debris safety criteria that can be adopted by the national ranges. Physiological data on the effects of debris impacts on people are presented. Log-normal curves are developed to relate the impact kinetic energy of fragments to the probability of fatality for people exposed in standing, sitting, or prone positions. Debris hazards to aircraft resulting from engine ingestion or penetration of a structure or windshield are discussed. The smallest mass fragments of aluminum, steel, and tungsten that may be hazardous to current aircraft are defined. Fragment penetration of the deck of a small ship or a pleasure craft is also considered. The smallest mass fragments of aluminum, steel, or tungsten that can penetrate decks are calculated.
Date: April 1, 1997
Creator: Cole, J.K.; Young, L.W. & Jordan-Culler, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TeleKnoSys Interactive Tool for a God's Eye View of Flight Test Experiments

Description: Flight test vehicle telemetry can be visualized in the field using existing dual-processor desktop computing technology. Our results show that processor speed allows more robust sensor analysis techniques, like Kalman filtering. In this case we used only 15% of the analysis time available within each major frame. The 10-15 Hz visualization rates that are possible with scenes that contain tens of thousands of polygons are too slow for state-of-the-art flight simulators, but provide a wealth of information from real-time flight vehicles. A newer version of the APL decommutation system can time-tag minor frames, which minimizes data loss. Specifically, we can use all of the minor frames in the first major frame collected after a dropout. Sending sporadic minor frames as they are collected may help fill the data gap associated with large dropouts, but an unbuffered data collection scheme reduces the time slice available for data analysis. To avoid a scaled earth model and single precision vehicle position image jitter, we are implementing Vega's Large Area Database Manager (LADBM), which provides double precision position calculations and can dynamically shift the database origin to a local area-of-interest. As computers and graphics accelerators continue to increase in speed and power, and Telemetry System development gets increasingly more complex acquiring tremendous amounts of data, interactive 3D visualization tools will become essential in the understanding of these data sets.
Date: June 14, 1999
Creator: Ashcraft, G.W.; Giron, J.W.; Platzbecker, M.R.; Ryerson, D.E. & Sandison, D.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Techniques for Real-Time Visualization of Data Intensive Missions

Description: Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories are combining entertainment industry software with traditional data collection techniques to create an interactive visualization tool. By replacing the usual flight simulator joystick with a telemetry data stream, experimental data is combined with existing three-dimensional (3D) engineering models. Users are immersed in their experiment, allowing interaction with and comprehension of complex data sets. Software tools are currently under development for post flight data visualization, and their usefulness and reusability have been demonstrated on numerous spaced-based programs within Sandia. However, data from remote sensors are subject to transmission errors that yield nonphysical behavior in real-time data visualization applications. We propose to investigate the applicability of real-time processing algorithms and estimation theories, such as Kalman filters, that have been successfully applied in other fields. Results will be integrated into existing postflight visualization tools for Proof-of-Concept validation and for potential integration of real-time applications.
Date: January 1, 2001
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of the Weapon Borne Sensor parachute system

Description: A parachute system was designed and prototypes built to deploy a telemetry package behind an earth-penetrating weapon just before impact. The parachute was designed to slow the 10 lb. telemetry package and wire connecting it to the penetrator to 50 fps before impact occurred. The parachute system was designed to utilize a 1.3-ft-dia cross pilot parachute and a 10.8-ft-dia main parachute. A computer code normally used to model the deployment of suspension lines from a packed parachute system was modified to model the deployment of wire from the weapon forebody. Results of the design calculations are presented. Two flight tests of the WBS were conducted, but initiation of parachute deployment did not occur in either of the tests due to difficulties with other components. Thus, the trajectory calculations could not be verified with data. Draft drawings of the major components of the parachute system are presented.
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Behr, V.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Experimental flight test vibration measurements and nondestructive inspection on a USCG HC-130H aircraft

Description: This paper presents results of experimental flight test vibration measurements and structural inspections performed by the Federal Aviation Administration`s Airworthiness Assurance NDI Validation Center (AANC) at Sandia National Laboratories and the US Coast Guard Aircraft Repair and Supply Center (ARSC). Structural and aerodynamic changes induced by mounting a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system on a USCG HC-130H aircraft are described. The FLIR adversely affected the air flow characteristics and structural vibration on the external skin of the aircraft`s right main wheel well fairing. Upon initial discovery of skin cracking and visual observation of skin vibration in flight by the FLIR, a baseline flight without the FLIR was conducted and compared to other measurements with the FLIR installed. Nondestructive inspection procedures were developed to detect cracks in the skin and supporting structural elements and document the initial structural condition of the aircraft. Inspection results and flight test vibration data revealed that the FLIR created higher than expected flight loading and was the possible source of the skin cracking. The Coast Guard performed significant structural repair and enhancement on this aircraft, and additional in-flight vibration measurements were collected on the strengthened area both with and without the FLIR installed. After three months of further operational FLIR usage, the new aircraft skin with the enhanced structural modification was reinspected and found to be free of flaws. Additional US Coast Guard HC-130H aircraft are now being similarly modified to accommodate this FLIR system. Measurements of in-flight vibration levels with and without the FLIR installed, and both before and after the structural enhancement and repair were conducted on the skin and supporting structure in the aircraft`s right main wheel fairing. Inspection results and techniques developed to verify the aircraft`s structural integrity are discussed.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Moore, D.G.; Jones, C.R.; Mihelic, J.E. & Barnes, J.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

One experienced engineer`s approach to better/cheaper/faster satellite testing (philosophies and lessons learned)

Description: In this paper, the author recalls hardware failures observed on satellites over the years; makes some observations about today`s environment of trying to build and test satellites; and makes specific recommendations concerning testing in general, as well as specifically addressing box-, payload-, spacecraft-, and full up satellite-level testing. The recommendations are intended to provide insight into how to produce satellites better, cheaper, and faster.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: Greenwood, C.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Testing Philosophy for a Sandia National Laboratories' Small Satellite Project - A Retrospective

Description: Sandia has recently completed the flight certification test series for the Multi-Spectral Thermal Imaging satellite (MTI), which is a small satellite for which Sandia was the system integrator. A paper was presented at the 16th Aerospace Testing Seminar discussing plans for performing the structural dynamics certification program for that satellite. The testing philosophy was originally based on a combination of system level vibroacoustic tests and component level shock and vibration tests. However, the plans evolved to include computational analyses using both Finite Element Analysis and Statistical Energy Analysis techniques. This paper outlines the final certification process and discuss lessons learned including both things that went well and things that should/could have been done differently.
Date: August 24, 2000
Creator: CAP,JEROME S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flight Testing of an Advanced Airborne Natural Gas Leak Detection System

Description: ITT Industries Space Systems Division (Space Systems) has developed an airborne natural gas leak detection system designed to detect, image, quantify, and precisely locate leaks from natural gas transmission pipelines. This system is called the Airborne Natural Gas Emission Lidar (ANGEL) system. The ANGEL system uses a highly sensitive differential absorption Lidar technology to remotely detect pipeline leaks. The ANGEL System is operated from a fixed wing aircraft and includes automatic scanning, pointing system, and pilot guidance systems. During a pipeline inspection, the ANGEL system aircraft flies at an elevation of 1000 feet above the ground at speeds of between 100 and 150 mph. Under this contract with DOE/NETL, Space Systems was funded to integrate the ANGEL sensor into a test aircraft and conduct a series of flight tests over a variety of test targets including simulated natural gas pipeline leaks. Following early tests in upstate New York in the summer of 2004, the ANGEL system was deployed to Casper, Wyoming to participate in a set of DOE-sponsored field tests at the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC). At RMOTC the Space Systems team completed integration of the system and flew an operational system for the first time. The ANGEL system flew 2 missions/day for the duration for the 5-day test. Over the course of the week the ANGEL System detected leaks ranging from 100 to 5,000 scfh.
Date: October 1, 2005
Creator: Lenz, Dawn; Lines, Raymond T.; Murdock, Darryl; Owen, Jeffrey; Stearns, Steven & Stoogenke, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-G testing of MEMS mechanical non-volatile memory and silicon re-entry switch.

Description: Two different Sandia MEMS devices have been tested in a high-g environment to determine their performance and survivability. The first test was performed using a drop-table to produce a peak acceleration load of 1792 g's over a period of 1.5 ms. For the second test the MEMS devices were assembled in a gun-fired penetrator and shot into a cement target at the Army Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg Mississippi. This test resulted in a peak acceleration of 7191 g's for a duration of 5.5 ms. The MEMS devices were instrumented using the MEMS Diagnostic Extraction System (MDES), which is capable of driving the devices and recording the device output data during the high-g event, providing in-flight data to assess the device performance. A total of six devices were monitored during the experiments, four mechanical non-volatile memory devices (MNVM) and two Silicon Reentry Switches (SiRES). All six devices functioned properly before, during, and after each high-g test without a single failure. This is the first known test under flight conditions of an active, powered MEMS device at Sandia.
Date: October 1, 2005
Creator: Baker, Michael Sean & Pohl, Kenneth Roy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flight Performance of UV Filters on the ALEXIS Satellite

Description: The ALEXIS (Array of Low-Energy X-ray Imaging Sensors) mission, serving as the first dedicated all-sky monitor in the extreme UV, has been collecting data since its launch in 1993. ALEXIS operates in a 70{degree} inclination orbit at an altitude of 800 km. The ALEXIS science mission is to observe the cosmic UV background and to study variability of EUV sources. The ALEXIS experiment is composed of six telescopes. Although the telescopes were only designed for a one-year technology verification mission, they are still functioning with much the same effectiveness as at the beginning of the mission. The telescopes comprise: (1) layered synthetic microstructure (LSM) spherical mirrors, (2) thin foil filters, and (3) microchannel plate (MCP) detectors, all enshrouded within the telescope body. The LSM mirrors select the bandpass for each telescope, while rejecting some of the HeII 304{angstrom} geocoronal radiation. The filters, constructed either from aluminum/carbon or Lexan/titanium/boron, serve to strongly reject the geocoronal radiation, as well as longer wavelength emission from bright OB stars. Each telescope detector consists of two plates, the outermost of which is curved to accurately match the spherical focal surface of the mirror. By reviewing the ground and flight histories, this paper analyzes the flight performance of the filters, including the effects of long term exposure and the formation of pinholes.
Date: July 8, 1999
Creator: Bloch, J.J.; Roussel-Dupre, D. & Starin, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department