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Proceedings Paper

Cryo-Tracker mass gauging system testing in a large-scale expendable launch vehicle LOX tank simulator
Author(s): Daniel J. Schieb; Mark S. Haberbusch; Alexander J. Yeckley
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Paper Abstract

Sierra Lobo tested its patented Cryo-Tracker(R) probe and Mass Gauging System in a large scale Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) liquid oxygen tank simulation for NASA. Typical Liquid Oxygen (LOX) tank operations were simulated at Lockheed Martin's Engineering Propulsion Laboratory in Denver, Colorado. The Cryo-Tracker(R) probe is 33 feet long, the longest built to date. It was mounted in the tank at only two locations, separated by 26 feet. Each test simulated typical Lockheed Martin booster pre-launch tanking operations, including filling the tank with LOX at fill rates typically used at the launch pad, and maintaining the fill level for a period representative of a typical pad hold. The Cryo-Tracker(R) Mass Gauging System was the primary instrument used for monitoring the fill and controlling the topping operations. Each test also simulated a typical flight profile, expelling the LOX at representative pressures and expulsion flow rates. During expulsion, the Cryo-Tracker(R) System served to generate an Engine Cut-Off (ECO) signal. Test objectives were as follows: Cryo-Tracker(R) data will be validated by flight-like propellant instruments currently used in launch vehicles; the probe will survive the harsh environment (which will be documented by a digital video camera) with no loss of signal or structural integrity; the system will successfully measure liquid levels and temperatures under all conditions and calculate propellant mass in real-time; the system will successfully demonstrate its feasibility as a control sensor for LOX filling and topping operations, as well as for engine cut-off. All objectives were met and the test results are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 May 2006
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6222, Sensors for Propulsion Measurement Applications, 622206 (11 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.666229
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel J. Schieb, Sierra Lobo, Inc. (United States)
Mark S. Haberbusch, Sierra Lobo, Inc. (United States)
Alexander J. Yeckley, Sierra Lobo, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6222:
Sensors for Propulsion Measurement Applications
Valentin Korman, Editor(s)

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