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  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on May 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , HOT SHOT sounding rocket, , Sandia is planning another pair of launches this August.,   

    From Sandia Lab: “Sandia launches a bus into space” 

    From Sandia Lab

    May 23, 2019

    HOT SHOT sounding rocket program picks up flight pace.
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    A sounding rocket designed and launched by Sandia National Laboratories lifts off from the Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii on April 24. (Photo by Mike Bejarano and Mark Olona)

    Sandia National Laboratories recently launched a bus into space. Not the kind with wheels that go round and round, but the kind of device that links electronic devices (a USB cable, short for “universal serial bus,” is one common example).

    The bus was among 16 total experiments aboard two sounding rockets that were launched as part of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s HOT SHOT program, which conducts scientific experiments and tests developing technologies on non-weaponized rockets. The respective flights took place on April 23 and April 24 at the Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii.

    The pair of flights marked an increase in the program’s tempo.

    “Sandia’s team was able to develop, fabricate, and launch two distinct payloads in less than 11 months,” said Nick Leathe, who oversaw the payload development. The last HOT SHOT flight — a single rocket launched in May 2018 — took 16 months to develop.

    Sandia, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Kansas City National Security Campus, and the U.K.-based Atomic Weapons Establishment provided experiments for this series of HOT SHOTs.

    The rockets also featured several improvements over the previous one launched last year, including new sensors to measure pressure, temperature, and acceleration. These additions provided researchers more details about the conditions their experiments endured while traveling through the atmosphere.

    The experimental bus, for example, was tested to find out whether components would be robust enough to operate during a rocket launch. The new technology was designed expressly for power distribution in national security applications and could make other electronic easier to upgrade. It includes Sandia-developed semiconductors and was made to withstand intense radiation.

    Sandia is planning another pair of launches this August. The name HOT SHOT comes from the term “high operational tempo,” which refers to the relatively high frequency of flights. A brisk flight schedule allows scientists and engineers to perform multiple tests in a highly specialized test environment in quick succession.

    For the recent flight tests, one Sandia team prepared two experiments, one for each flight, to observe in different ways the dramatic temperature and pressure swings that are normal in rocketry but difficult to reproduce on the ground. The researchers are aiming to improve software that models these conditions for national security applications, and they are now analyzing the flight data for discrepancies between what they observed and what their software predicted. Differences could lead to scientific insights that would help refine the program.

    Some experiments also studied potential further improvements for HOT SHOT itself, including additively manufactured parts that could be incorporated into future flights and instruments measuring rocket vibration.

    The sounding rockets are designed to achieve an altitude of about 1.2 million feet and to fly about 220 nautical miles down range into the Pacific Ocean. Sandia uses refurbished, surplus rocket engines, making these test flights more economical than conventional flight tests common at the end of a technology’s development.

    The HOT SHOT program enables accelerated cycles of learning for engineers and experimentalists. “Our goal is to take a 10-year process and truncate it to three years without losing quality in the resulting technologies. HOT SHOT is the first step in that direction,” said Todd Hughes, NNSA’s HOT SHOT Federal Program Manager.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

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  • richardmitnick 8:42 am on October 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: High Operational Tempo Sounding Rocket Program, HOT SHOT sounding rocket, ,   

    From Sandia Lab: “Sandia delivers first DOE sounding rocket program since 1990s” 


    From Sandia Lab

    October 22, 2018
    Troy Rummler,
    trummle@sandia.gov
    505-284-1056


    The first HOT SHOT flight, shown here, launched from Sandia’s Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii. (Video by Mike Bejarano and Mark Olona) Click here to download the video

    A new rocket program could help cut research and development time for new weapons systems from as many as 15 years to less than five.

    Sandia National Laboratories developed the new program, called the High Operational Tempo Sounding Rocket Program, or HOT SHOT, and integrated it for its first launch earlier this year under the National Nuclear Security Administration’s direction.

    The first HOT SHOT rocket launched from Sandia’s Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii in May, marking the first time DOE has used rockets carrying scientific instruments, also known as sounding rockets, since the 1990s. Sandia is planning four launches next year.

    HOT SHOT launches comparatively inexpensive sounding rockets carrying scientific experiments and prototypes of missile technology. The flight data help researchers improve technologies, validate that they are ready for use and deploy them faster than with conventional validation techniques. In turn, NNSA is equipped to respond quickly to emerging national security needs. The program also supports a tailored and flexible approach to deterrence, as outlined in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.

    The flights prove whether prototype missile components — from an onboard computer to a structural bracket — can function in the intense turbulence, heat and vibration a missile experiences in flight.

    Conventional vs. HOT SHOT

    The Department of Defense also provides such confirmation with a conventional missile test following rigorous DOE studies and simulations on the ground. But by that point, the chance to significantly modify a component has largely passed. Until now, the DOD flight tests have been virtually the only way to get a clear picture of how new components fare in flight.

    “It was a really difficult problem,” Sandia mechanical engineer Greg Tipton said. “It’s hard to imitate the same vibrations and forces a rocket experiences in flight on the ground.”

    Sandia’s large-scale environmental testing facilities can mechanically shake objects back and forth and spin them at high speeds to mimic a flight experience. But for a stress-like vibration, HOT SHOT provides a much closer simulation. Other stresses, such as heat from re-entry or the simultaneous combined environments experienced in flight, simply don’t have accurate models or ground test methods researchers can use.

    “HOT SHOT fills a hole between ground testing and missile testing,” said Olga Spahn, manager of the department at Sandia responsible for payload integration for the program. “It gives researchers the flexibility to develop technology and see how it handles a flight environment at a relatively low cost.”

    2
    Multiple scientific payloads fly on each HOT SHOT flight launched by Sandia National Laboratories, as illustrated here. (Image by Sandia National Laboratories)

    The test data also will help engineers like Tipton design more realistic ground tests, something industries from automobile to aerospace are also earnestly researching.

    Flexible test drives innovation

    HOT SHOT will not replace DOD flight tests. However, it does use comparatively simple, two-stage sounding rockets built from surplus inventory motors to recreate the flight environment of their more expensive cousins, which can cost tens of millions of dollars to fly.

    The cost of a traditional flight test has made exploring some new ideas prohibitively expensive.

    “By the time we’re flying with DOD, the technology had better work. There’s no room for failure,” said Kate Helean, deputy director for technology maturation at Sandia.

    An NNSA facility or a partner institution now can test its technologies with HOT SHOT and risk much less if it fails. Sandia and Kansas City National Security Campus provided experiments for the first launch. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and United Kingdom-based Atomic Weapons Establishment will join them with tests on the next flight.

    Sandia designed HOT SHOT as a low-risk program to encourage exploration and creativity, which further augment NNSA’s ability to adapt weapons systems to urgent needs.

    “We really want to be leaning into new and innovative ideas, and that means we have to tolerate failure early when the technology is being tested,” Helean said.

    Inside each sounding rocket, dedicated research space is divided into decks, each with its own electrical and data ports to accommodate separate, even unrelated experiments.

    Sandia plans to conduct multiple launches each year, so researchers will have opportunities to test multiple versions of the same technology in relatively rapid succession. Internal instruments monitor the experiments and prototypes and send back real-time measurements to engineers on the ground.

    “We provide the payload integration and ride; they provide the experiments for the payload,” Spahn said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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