NASA Turns to NTS’s Santa Clarita Lab for SLS Core Stage Qualification Testing

November 11, 2020

NASA turned to NTS to conduct wide scale testing for the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage components. According to NASA, the “Space Launch System will be the most powerful rocket we’ve ever built. When completed, SLS will enable astronauts to begin their journey to explore destinations far into the solar system.” The NTS testing, which included a wide range of vibration and shock under combined environments, was critical for the upcoming Green Run at the NASA Stennis Space Center. Engineers at NTS’s Santa Clarita lab conducted the following types of SLS tests:

  • Dual shaker vibration testing of large duct assemblies at temperatures as low as -300F using MISO and MIMO control schemes.
  • High vibration levels combined with high temperature GN2 gas with flow rates up to 100 PPM and approximately 500F temperature inlet conditions
  • Vibration testing of transducers with test levels around 100 GRMs with no band splitting required.
  • Simulated pyroshock testing performed on large components at temperatures from -300F to 500F.
  • Dual shaker vibration testing of high pressure flex lines with different test levels at each input end.
  • Vibration testing of small to large components under simulated service conditions (temperatures from -300 – 550F, inlet pressures up to 4,000 PSIG, etc.)
  • Laser vibrometry utilized to measure displacements and velocities on critical components during the applied vibration.
  • Instrumentation included large channel counts measuring pressure, strain, acceleration, and functional parameters while subjected to the dynamic environments.
  • Custom bearing systems to minimize crosstalk on the UUT(s) and equipment as a result of overturning moments from the testing of large test items and opposing force exerted on each shaker during dual shaker operations.

The Santa Clarita lab, which is one of 28 NTS labs in North America, has a proud history of supporting the space industry. In fact, NTS has participated in every major space program since the inception of manned space exploration. Playing a critical role in NTS’s history of space testing, the engineers at the Santa Clarita lab have worked on the Space Shuttle, Mars Rover, International Space Station, MX Peacekeeper, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV). Take a moment to learn more about our space testing capabilities.

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