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Gemini Design Test Philosophy

Gemini Design Test Philosophy

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Feb 24, 2011
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•V. '•
GEMINI DESIGN TEST PHILOSOPHY
By .
tDohald
D.
ArabianNASA Manned Spacecraft Center
Houston,
Texas
GEMINI
DESIGN TEST
(NASft)
16 p
.., sj
t.'£
4.3'-•""
N77-831U3
Unclas
00/18
46212_To
be
presented
at
The
Institute
of
Environmental Sciences
April
I5Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania
 
GEMINI
DESKN
(TEST
PHILOSOPHY
Donald D. Arabian,
HASA-
Manned Spacecraft Center
Donald
D.
Arabian
Donald
D.
Arabian graduated from
the
University
of
Rhode
Island
witha BSdegreeinAeronauticalEngineering-in 19W}.
He has
been employed
by the
NASA
since 19^8.
-.He
worked'in the .field of Hydro-dynamics and Aerodynamics at the Lahgley ResearchCenter and authored several KASA'papers. He trans-ferred to.the Space
Task
Group of the Mercury Pro-gram
ini
Its-
early
stages
afld
became
a spacecraft-
:
';-i ^ '
Project Engineer.
His
duties extended into
the
area'
of
spacecraft systems flight monitor for the
Merci.ry
Control
Centerat AMRduring severalof the
Mercu'i
y
ssions;
and he
also
was a:
trouble shooter
for;J;}.e;
.
program managers. Presently,
he is a
systems int'-gratibn engineer
for ail the
design engineering
>"•>,-,ses
of theGemini Program with particular
emphasi.
ion
the
systems
Integration
between
the
spacecraft
and the
Agena.
. . - -- '
In a development program that is far reachi"~>.inits goals and objectives, sound test philosop'n6s
are
required
to
insure success
of the
program mi.
1
sion.Thepresent
NASA
philosophyoftestingfoi
.manned
space vehicles grew
out of the
ground
and
air-borne test program employed by the Mercury Project.Effort has
been
made to use the knowledge and exper-
ience
gained during the Mercury Program in estab-lishing the test philosophy for the Gemini
Progrtji..
In the interest of lowered cost and schedulemaintenance, the Manned Spacecraft Center philosophy
is
directed toward a test program on the Gemini Pro-gram wherein all data from tests such as developmenttests, acceptance tests, combined vehicle compatibil-ity
tests,
and unmanned flight tests form the basis
for
declaring
the
Gemini vehicles ready
for
mannedmissions.Ofthis groupoftests, design testsin
the
case of the Gemini Program constitute contribu-tions
from
each group of tests in part or in whole.This paper
primarily
touches on the test philos-ophyassociated with the design concept rather thanfrom the
reliability,
acceptance, or confidence point
of
view.
First,
let us view briefly the major pieces ofhardware involved in the Gemini mission that requiredesign proof tests (fig.
l). The
spacecraft, whichcarries
two
astronauts,
looks similar
to the
Mercuryspacecraft in shape. The craft is built up of threemajor modules:
the
adapter, retrograde,
and
reentrysections. Note that
the
escape rocket concept
as !usedon
Mercury
Is
missing;
instead,
the
Gemini
em- ;
ploys ejection seats which
can be
used up,to about
;
70,000
feet. Abort above this altitude
is
accom-plished with the spacecraft reentry module.
1
The
Gemini launch vehicle
is a
Titan
II
missilemodified to meet the requirements for placing mannedspacecraft into orbit (fig. 2). . Some of the majorchanges are the redundant flight control 'system, mal-function detection
system, and a
skirt
to
allowmating with spacecraft. These design modificationsto the launch vehicle must demonstrate their capabil-ity to meet the design requirements.
:
An
Agena
target vehicle which
is to be
boosted
into orbit by an Atlas launch vehicle is another mem-ber of the Gemini team (fig. 3). A standard Agena
will
be modified so that the spacecraft can rendez-vous, dock,
and
maneuver
to
change
orbit
in the ;, " " '
'_
docked configuration.
The
majo; modification
of
"con--
"
;
;
cern
here
is the
addition
of a ,ockir
adapter'ffb
^V;.'./•
j,^
'"
the
forward
end of the
Agena
t& -'hich the
spacecraft^'
can
send commands
for
controlli:.;;
the
Agena
fjOr'b'oth.','•..
;ithe
undocked
and
docked
conf
igui
atinnf..
,
'.,'.'?.
j *
'•.,
••:.
-'.'.."
The Agena engine
will
have a multi-start, capa-bility
so
that
corrections
and
changes
iri-orbits,
are,
._
^ ,:
not
restricted
by.
this standpoint. Here again.these.
'.
design
modifications..tothebasic vehicle must'
liave."'.'"."
design prpof-te's't demonstrations.
.. .' ";;"".
^.'j .".'
Design'tests
of
these
vehi^j
:s
have
a
broad.'.."
;.' \
~
r.dpe
in
that
they
are
performe.-
x. nil
components.^..'
,',.,..
£,_!
systems,,
and
subsystems,
ana
«x".end
in
tiine"'fj'6m
 :
''~"
tne
engineering model development
t£j,:i oC
"dmpon-
ents
tounmanned missionsof thecomplete'vehicles.'.
.
.' The
first
;step of
these tests
ir. the
group
of
development tests. These
are
necessary
to
es'tabli'sh
' '
the design concept to the point of defining the con- 'figuration for qualification. The qualification ..tests, which contribute largely to the so called de-signtests, consider all the environments that thecomponent
will
encounter from the time of its manu-facture through the time of its performance during amission. Limitations on parameters such as tempera-ture, vibration spectrum, shock,
loads,
life cycle,humidity,
EMI
susceptibility, electrical
limitations,
and so forth are established.Theparticular qualification tests
of a
compon-ent depend on the function it has to perform. Ingeneral, however, vibration, shock, temperature,pressure, et cetera, are generally common to allqualification tests.Each subassembly, assembly,. and system componentof the vehicle gets a complete
structural
design[qualification test, which includes design vibrationspectrum, design
loads,
and design thermal condi-tions . •
Small
components and
nonload
carrying arti-;des are exposed to vibration and shock
tests
and donot go through structural loads as with the struc-
tures.
The static loads go to ultimate to
establish
[the
structural margin. The entire spacecraft vith.all systems
will
be exposed .to vibration tests todemonstrate
its
capability
to
withstand
the
launch.and reentry vibration'environment.Thehistoryof"many
Titan
II
flights
has
demonstrated
the
structural
 
1
'i
X
* -
*
integrity of the launch vehicle.
Likewise,
the
Agena
has demonstrated and passed design
proof
tests
The
Gemini peculiar items
on
both
the
launch vehicle
and
the
Agena target vehicle must show
by
tests that
these
designs are capable of performing as required
bythe
mission.
It
becomes increasingly difficult
to
perform
the
structural
design,
qualification tests
as the
spacecraft
or
vehicle components
are
broughttogether, due to limitations of ground test facili-ties,
or the
inability
to
create
the
exact environ-
ment
. Consequently, the design proof tests of the.launch vehicle-spacecraft structure combination
will
rest
on the
first mission
for
demonstration
of
struc-
tural
integrity under actual launch conditions.An advantage of the ground
qualification testswith
simulated environment is that these permit•testing
to
conditions beyond what
is
estimated under
normal
flight conditions. On the other hand, flighttests
can
reveal shortcomings
of the
ground tests
ifthe
estimated normal condition
and
interaction
ef-
fects were
not
adequate.
.
.
Design test'philosophy
of
electrical systemsfalls into a somewhat different category than that
.of,
structure';" Although the' electrical system mustwithstand
^environments-'to" which
1
the
structures
.are."-'
tested, of
particular
concern here are the elec-
trical
characteristics and electro-magnetic environ-
ment
the electrical circuits shall be required to
cope
with..
The
design'tests start
1
with
"the
qualifi-cation
of the
smallest components, such
as
relay
, ~"
diodes,transistors,
and the
like. These quali.-'^yi
j
components
become
;
a
part-
of a
subsystem
which.•ai-'o
''•
will
bequalifiedto thesameorless stringent
electrical
qualification tests.
As
each
of
xhfcac
components start operating together
as a
team, t
;
-;
main concern
of
design testing lies
in the
inter'")
action of,'one with
the
other'; These systems
tei.••
3
also evaluate whether
the
initial qualification .-asadequate
for the
component intended
role.~'
;
'•'-•]-
The-
adequacy
of the
design qualification
test
conditions imposed
on a
component
is-
generallydemonstrated
by the
function
it
should perform.
The
function should occur
at the
proper time
and of the j
proper magnitude without being unduly affected
by i
the
surrounding
environment.
Therefore, proof
of a :design
is not
necessarily
a
quantitative demonstra-
j
tion.
The
qualitative demonstration approach does
\
not
indicate
how
close
the
design
is
operating
to ;
its
limit;
consequently, quantitative measurements
I
are
quite desirable
to
obtain margins
of the
design.
1
The real proof of design of a system consisting
primarily
of
electrical components
is in
systems
i
integration tests where the
particular
system mustoperate with
"~n
other systems. These system tests
I
showproof
of
design
of the
interfacing cabling and!
the
characteristics thereof within
and
between
sys-i
terns.
.
Articular
attention
is
drawn
to the
paths
'
of
ground
Teturns,
since many
of the
problems aris-
I
ing
with
the
circuitry design
at
this point arises
i
from noise
on the
circuits.
The
physical location
jof
interfacing
wires within
a
wire bundle
can be ;
critical,
depending
on the
type
of
signal that
is j
being
transmitted
and
susceptibility
of the
partlc-
:
ular
wire
to
transients induced
by
adjacent wires
jof
another system.
It Is
here that signal charac-
'
teristics
can be
disturbed
or
distorted. This
con-j
cept is of
course extended
to the
effects
of
system^
inone
vehicle with another.
In
many instances,quantitative measurements are not practical to
make,
and-consequently
functional demonstration must suf-
fice.
- . •:
The
operation
of two
vehicles together, such
asthe
spacecraft electrical systems with
the
launch
vehicle
electrical systems
and the
spacecraft elec-trical systems with
the
Agena
target vehicle elec-trical systems, takeasomewhat different approach.
Here,
design requirements are controlled
primarily
by
the
susceptibility limits
of the
interfacing cir-
cuits
within each vehicle. Final tests
are
performed
before
launch after acceptance
of
both vehicles,
andduring an
unmanned flight. However,
to
insure thatthe
electrically
mated
vehicles
will
functionsatis-factorily, each system
is
tested
by
simulating
the
.electrical characteristics
of the
other
vehicle-
at
the
interfacing point prior
to
acceptance
of
either
vehicle. The
design tests
of
theI
spacecraft operat-
ing
functionally with
the
Agena
will
occur prior
toflight
since
it is not
practical
to
perform
an in- 'flight
proof design test
of
these
two
vehicles work-
|
ing
together
with-an
unmanned configuration.! Fur-ther,
the
safety
of the
astronauts
is-not
in
jeopardy
'as
during
the
boost phase
of tre
mission with
the
V
launch" vehicle.
-Sometime
prio.
.to the
actual
'•flighty
the
final design test
is
performed with
the
space-
"
•;
craft
and the
Agena
in
close proximity
and in a-
'-docked
configuration
on the
ground;
;
Again,
;ground-••-
'tests
with simulated interfac:
.g
functions'willsriave"
'been
made
to
1
insure/ a
high ceriainty.'that
.tne-'des'lgri
will
be
acceptable
in the
final design t/'•.
Trie
'
:
final design test
is
primarily
a
functions^,
end-to-^ •
end
type test
to
demonstrate compatibility
of
"all'
'• '
systems
within
-boT;h
vehicles
. .
v.fitii-caTiive
{measure-
ments to
show
the
systems -operat-r^ yithin
the'desigi"
limitations
will
be
held
.to a
oa.v.
ainim>
x
~
N
i
princi-pally
due to
the. possible effect o.ie instrumentation
1
could
have
on the
sensitive
circuitsin
question^
-
Note
that
the
last
contrlbutio.-j."co
the
so-called-,
design
test which
is the
test performed
in a
mated
:
"
condition
do not
cover environmental conditions
unde:
which
these functions
will
be
performed;
the
testonly points out functional verifications. However/,
all
components
of
both vehicles
will
have been
quali-
fied
to
environmental conditions
in
excess
of
what
'
is
anticipated under actual conditions.
Another
major
area
of
design previously men-
tioned is the
thermal aspect
of the
planned mission.
;Components and
systems
and
structure
are
imposed
to
:
temperature
Urn-Its,
both
hot and
cold extremes.
A
major aspect
of
qualification
of
design
is to
estab-
lish the
normal operating temperatures
of the
entire
.spacecraft
within
the
limits specified
by the
orbit
and
range of.angles that
the
orbital plane
can
makewith
the
sun's rays
and the
range
of
maximum
and
.minimum
internal heat loads
for
critical modes
of
the
temperature control system
of the
spacecraft.
';
A
demonstration, under these conditions,
of the
1
quasi-steady state temperatures
of the
components
and
systems
will
indicate
the
thermal design
to beadequate,
provided
the
temperatures
are
within
thedesign
Urn-Its.
Thermal design testswill
be
per-
|formed
with
the
complete spacecraft operating
in a •
I
simulated orbital condition
in a
special environ-,
'mental
chamber. This chamber
can
simulate
the'vacuum,
solar heating
and
space cooling within
the
I
present state
of the
art.

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