Objectives of the Saturn Program have necessitated a more accurate knowledge of the vehicle mass and lift-off weight. Since propellants constitute the major portion of the vehicle mass, a method of accurately determining and regulating the quantity of propellants on board the vehicle is a primary requirement.
Several elements are involved in providing accurate on-board quantities of vehicle propellants. Of most significance are the vehicle propellants sensors, storage and transfer facilities, and a system to monitor the sensors and control the transfer facilities. The purpose of this paper is to describe the functions and operation of the Propellant Tanking Computer System (PTCS) which performs this propellant monitor and control function for Saturn IB and Saturn V vehicles. The PTCS was developed for NASA KSC by G.E., KSCSO.
The PTCS is an electro-mechanical control system designed to automatically control the cryogenic propellant replenish valves using data from either vehicle or ground located sensors. Capability of use with non-cryogenic propellants such as RP-1 is also provided.
To meet the high reliability standards established for the Saturn program, the PTCS has been designed utilizing high reliability components, worst case analysis, and a redundant channel for manual monitor and control.