Interface Explores Commercial Launch Solutions

Interface supplies advanced sensor technologies to high-profile companies in some of the most challenging environments, including those that are using their innovations for exploration beyond planet earth.

Aerospace commercial launch programs have a critical role in advancing our understanding of the world around us, as well as in supporting a wide range of industries and applications. Commercial launch is typically defined by engineers and aerospace market leaders as the design, manufacturing, and operation of rockets and spacecraft for commercial purposes. This includes providing launch services to customers such as private companies, governments, and research institutions.

Collaborating with engineers and market leaders at the forefront of the commercial launch industry, Interface is proud to take part in enabling space exploration and satellite deployment for a wide range of use cases. Commercial launch has a big part of our global economic growth for scientific research, environmental monitoring, communications, and national security.

Force measurement devices are critical tools for commercial launch companies, helping ensure the safety and effectiveness of spacecraft and rockets during design, testing, and launch. Interface high-accuracy load cells, torque transducers, load pins and wireless instrumentation are utilized throughout testing phases of aerospace vehicles, small and large. Interface products are used by commercial launch companies for a range of applications, including:

Rocket and Engine Testing: Load cells and force measurement devices are used to measure the thrust and other forces generated by rocket engines during testing. This information is critical for ensuring that the engine is operating safely and as designed. Read

Launch Vehicle Testing: Load cells and force measurement devices are used during testing of the launch vehicle to measure the loads and stresses that it will experience during launch. This helps ensure that the rocket is designed to withstand the forces it will encounter during launch.

Payload Integration: Load cells are used to measure the weight and balance of the payload during integration into the rocket. This helps ensure that the rocket is properly configured for launch and that the payload is secure.

Parachute Deployment: Load cells are used to measure the forces generated during parachute deployment and landing. This helps ensure that the parachute system is designed to deploy safely and effectively. See Parachute Deployment and Deceleration Testing

Spacecraft Separation: Load cells are used to measure the forces generated during spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle. This helps ensure that the spacecraft is safely released from the rocket and that it is on its intended trajectory.

Force measurement plays an important role in space exploration and commercial launches, including vehicle designs, automation of machines that manufacture components, structures used for launch testing, and the actual engineering and building of the spaceships. See our case study, Force Measurement for Space Travel.

With the growing investments in commercial space applications, Interface solutions are in high demand for testing in vehicles in launch environments.  Interface products are used in thrust testing, structural testing, and even force gravity testing.  Every test must be verifiably accurate due to the trustworthiness and safety requirements of moving the ever-increasing valuable payloads, which is beyond stellar communication technologies. It’s now about launching and returning humans, with frequency, in the new era of space travel. Safety is priority number one., Here are a few application examples of Interface solutions utilized by commercial launch market leaders.

Rocket Structure Testing

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) core stage is largest ever built at 27 feet in diameter and 200+ feet tall. Core components including liquid hydrogen and oxygen tanks must withstand launch loads up to nine million pounds-force (lbf). Interface load cells were attached to hydraulic cylinders at various locations along test stands to provide precise test forces. Strain gages were also bonded to rocket structure surface and connected to data acquisition system for stress analysis. Using this solution, engineers can measure loads applied at various areas on the rocket structure, verifying the structural performance under simulated launch conditions. Read more about this type of testing here, Rocket Structure Testing

Space Dock Capture Ring Force Testing

A space company wanted to test their spacecraft docking simulator. They wished to test the forces of the actuators used during the “lunge”, when the soft capture ring is lunged forward to latch onto a space vehicle that has been mounted. They also wanted to ensure they are working properly when engaged, and that it does not go past its overload force limit. Interface suggested using multiple WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Wireless Load Cells to be installed to the actuators of the capture ring. Both as wireless solutions, measurements can be recorded through the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, which then can transmit to the WTS-BS-1 Handheld Display or the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station for the customer to record, log, and graph on their computer. Interface’s Wireless telemetry system successfully measured the forces of the soft capture ring of the space docking port with overload protection. Learn more about this application here: Space Dock Capture Ring Force Testing

Reduced Gravity Testing

In this application, Interface supplied a Model 1100 Series Load Cell, which was installed in-line with a steel support cable to actively measure the vertical load on the system. A control system was then utilized, (which includes a Model 9870 High Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator), to monitor the load cell output and continuously offload a portion of a human or robotic payload weight during all dynamic motions. Using precise feedback from the load cell, the control system commanded a motor to raise or lower the subject to maintain a constant offload force. During the simulation, the system actively compensated for the subject’s movement to accurately reproduce a microgravity environment. Read more about this test here: Reduced Gravity Simulation.

Commercial launch companies are often driven by market demand and competition, which can lead to innovations in rocket and spacecraft design, manufacturing processes, and launch operations. This in turn can lead to advancements in space exploration, scientific research, and other applications that benefit society. We are proud to play a part of these advancements and discoveries.

Interface is exhibiting again at Space Tech Expo 2023.


Examining Interface Aerospace Industry Solutions

Interface and The Race to Space

Aerospace Brochure

Solutions Provider for Aerospace & Defense



Interface Celebrates Engineers

This week we are celebrating National Engineers Week at Interface. E-Week is an annual event first celebrated in 1951, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the engineering profession and the contributions that engineers make in the world.

Engineers Week matters to Interface. We have multiple types of engineers throughout our company that provide critical expertise, including application and custom solution engineers, product engineers, electrical and design engineers, and our manufacturing engineers. They are all, collectively and individually, are vital in helping to define, create, build, and deliver world-class force measurement solutions. We profile many of Interface engineers in our monthly ForceLeaders series.

E-Week matters because every day we work with incredible engineers around the world. We recognize the contributions of these engineers from diverse backgrounds throughout all types of industries. Fortunately, we get to interact with many engineers from companies to help solve critical challenges, improve testing capabilities, confirm new product designs, and discover advancements in their area of expertise with the ability to measure with accuracy.

There are many different engineers that come to Interface for different force measurement solutions, including:

  • Product engineers who are responsible for the design and development of products, from concept to final production. They depend on Interface for solutions used in the testing and validation of the product. Read more in Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface.
  • Civil engineers who design, construct, and maintain infrastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings, and water and sewage systems. Read Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products
  • Mechanical engineers who design and develop machinery, equipment, and products, such as engines, turbines, and tools.
  • Electrical engineers that work with electronics, power systems, and electrical equipment, designing and developing electrical systems that power devices and machines.
  • Aerospace engineers that design and develop aircraft, spacecraft, and other related systems used to explore the galaxies. Here are some examples of aerospace solutions.
  • Environmental engineers who work on projects related to environmental protection, such as air and water pollution control, waste management, and sustainable development.
  • Materials engineers who work with materials in testing materials, developing new materials, and improving existing ones.
  • Biomedical engineers who work on projects related to healthcare, designing, and developing medical devices and equipment, such as prosthetics and imaging systems.
  • Quality engineers who ensure that products meet the required quality standards using testing methods to identify and resolve quality issues. Quality engineers use Interface product to monitor production processes. Find out more here, Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions.

We see what you do, and it’s worth celebrating! Interface is fortunate to collaborate and supply engineers working in a wide variety of industries and for a diverse range of companies, both large and small. We benefit through learning how to best help engineers in industries, that include:

Aerospace and Defense: Companies in this industry develop and manufacture aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and other defense-related products.
Automotive: Companies in this industry design, develop, and manufacture vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles.
Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals: Companies in this industry develop and manufacture drugs, medical devices, and other healthcare-related products.
Construction: Companies in this industry design and build infrastructure, including buildings, bridges, and roads.
Electronics and Semiconductors: Companies in this industry design, develop, and manufacture electronic products, including computers, smartphones, and other consumer electronics.
Energy: Companies in this industry produce and distribute energy, including oil and gas, renewable energy, and nuclear energy.
Manufacturing: Companies in this industry produce a wide variety of products, including consumer goods, industrial equipment, and machinery.

Interface is heavily reliant on the skills and experience of our own engineers. We celebrate our team members, our partners, our customers, and those that are benefitting from the advancements engineers make every day to our society. Happy E-Week!