AIAA-2004-6815-598 - AIAA 2004-6815 USAF Developmental Test...

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1 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics The Quest for Higher Total Pressures: Justification and Current Development Efforts for a Higher Pressure Arc-Heated Facility * Peter A. Montgomery, D. Mark Smith, Joseph M. Sheeley, and E. John Felderman Aerospace Testing Alliance, Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold AFB, TN 37389 and Capt Tim Budke United States Air Force, Arnold AFB, TN 37389 This paper describes an effort at the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Arnold Air Force Base, TN directed at development of a high-pressure arc heater facility capable of operation at chamber pressures up to 200 atm. This facility development effort addresses the existing aerothermal simulation gap between flight and test and evaluation (T&E) capabilities available for qualification of thermal protection systems (TPS), apertures, and other high-temperature materials requiring ground testing prior to flight, with peak heating rates and integrated heat loads characteristic of reentry. First, the ground testing requirements of current and near-term flight system development programs are examined, and existing capabilities are found to fall short of those requirements. The necessary facility conditions for matching all significant flight conditions are then determined but are found to be far beyond what is possible with near-term technological development. A compromise solution is found that will give test conditions suitable for system validation that can be imple- mented in the time frame dictated by flight system development schedules. The multi-year effort addresses both facility technology issues and facility infrastructure requirements for the planned high-pressure arc facility. I. Introduction The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and its derivatives will continue to be an important part of the US defensive strategy for many years to come. In the past, system development was supported by a combination of ground testing and flight testing. In recent years, Department of Defense (DoD) reentry vehicle (RV) flight test opportunities have been reduced because of their great expense. ItHowever, current ground test capability is insuffi- cient to fill the void caused by reduced flight test opportunities. With any further decrease in the number of flight test- ing opportunities available, the risk to future programs will grow significantly. U. S. Army (USA), U. S. Air Force (USAF), and U. S. Navy (USN) RV and hypersonic weapon systems require a ground test capability to develop and sustain thermal protection systems (TPS) materials. These vehicles include the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) hypersonic interceptor systems, such as THAAD, GBI, and Navy Theater Wide, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) force application systems such as the Minuteman ICBM and the future Com- mon Aero Vehicle, and the USN’s SLBM Trident systems. These vehicles encounter high dynamic pressures that result in extreme aerothermal heating while traversing endoatmospheric flight corridors. Operation within severe aerothermal environments renders them vulnerable to thermal protection system failures in flight.
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AIAA-2004-6815-598 - AIAA 2004-6815 USAF Developmental Test...

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