INDUSTRIES: AEROSPACE / INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION
Customer Need / Challenge
Spacecraft landing on a lunar or planetary surface require parachutes to deploy at high speeds under high loads.
For example, NASA tested the Mars Science Laboratory parachute in an 80×120-foot wind tunnel at 80 mph speeds and loads up to 85,000 pounds.
A 1000-series fatigue-rated LowProfile™ load cells with eccentric load compensation is employed to sustain and measure high loads with 300% overload protection.
Load cells ensure accurate measurement of applied loads during parachute deployment testing.
Multiple tests allow engineers to test various parachute packing techniques.
- Wind tunnel
- Parachute package support structure
- Customer Data Acquisition System
|HOW IT WORKS|
- Support structure capable of sustaining required loads is built inside wind tunnel.
- If the calculated load is less than the load cell capacity, a single load cell is installed as part of the support structure and connected to the parachute deployment system.
- Alternatively, multiple load cells are connected into an array and installed between the support structure and the parachute deployment system. A junction box connects the load cells to provide a single reading from the load cell array.
- After the wind tunnel is brought up to speed, a mortar launches the parachute, aiming toward the upper middle portion of the tunnel where speeds are highest.
- As the parachute canopy deploys, the load cell(s) measure the force applied with an accuracy of 0.03%.