A Subscale Facility for Liquid Rocket Propulsion Diagnostics at Stennis Space Center 911126
The Diagnostics Tested Facility (DTF) at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) in Mississippi was designed to provide a testbed for development of rocket engine exhaust plume diagnostics instrumentation. A 1200-lb thrust liquid oxygen (LOX)/gaseous hydrogen (GH2) thruster is used as the plume source for experimentation and instrument development. Theoretical comparative studies have been performed with aero-thermodynamic codes to ensure that the DTF thruster (DTFT) has been optimized to produce a plume with pressure and temperature conditions as much like the plume of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) as possible. Operation of the DTFT is controlled by an icon-driven software program using a series of soft switches. Data acquisition is performed using the same software program. A number of plume diagnostics experiments have utilized the unique capabilities of the DTF. The ability of the DTF to provide efficient test operations with quick turnaround times and on-line data analysis makes it uniquely suited for these and other proposed plume diagnostics experiments.