Rapid Propellant Loading Approach Exploration
Final rept. 11 Feb 2008-15 Nov 2010
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH AIR VEHICLES DIRECTORATE/STRUCTURES DIVISION
Pagination or Media Count:
This joint AFRL and NASA research project was initiated in 1 March 2007 to begin addressing the technology and capability deficiencies in reducing the call-up time time from mission notification until launch to support the Prompt Global Strike PGS and on-orbit reconstitution missions. One of the critical call-up issues is loading cryogenic propellants e.g. liquid oxygen. Currently loading cryogenic propellants requires special operations and equipment with highly trained personnel to prevent vehicle damage and personnel injuries. Maintaining the required skill levels of these people are a key aspect of this process. The people must recognize problems when they arise and make critical decisions. These decisions not only affect vehicle and the people working near the vehicle but this mission as well. One way to reduce dependency upon critical personnel and enable rapid and consistent decisions is to create an automated system with built-in health and situation management. This would enable the personnel to connect the equipment and empower the system to perform the propellant loading operation with minimal oversight. Funding for this project was provided by a combination of AFRL and NASA Kennedy Space Center.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Liquid Rocket Propellants