Anda di halaman 1dari 11

AIAA-92-3976

Thrust Stand Design Principles


R, B. Runyan, J. P, Rynd, Jr., and J. F. Seely
Sverdrup Technology, Inch,AEDC Group
Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee

t/

1
Y AlAA 17th
Aerospace Ground Testing Conference
July 6-8, 1992 / Nashville, TN
For permission to copy or republlsh, contact the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
370 L‘Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024
THRUST STAND DESIGN PRINCIPLES*
R. B. Runyan,** 1. P. Rynd, Jr., and 1. F. Seelyt
Sverdrup Technology, Inc., AEDC Group
Arnold Engineering Development Center
Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee 37389

Abstract cells, and calibration systems referred to in general


terms as the thrust stand. The thrust stand is used to
Information used at the Engine Test Facility restrain the test article and provide for measurement
(ETF), Arnold Engineering Development Center of the forces generated by the test article.
(AEDC), to guide design of propulsion scale force
measuring systems is summarized. Terms, pro- The following sections include a discussion on
cedures, operational characteristics, and design basic force concepts and on the thrust stand in terms
philosophies peculiar to this specialized engineering of stand configurations, design considerations, and
field are defined. Several aspects of force measuring calibration techniques. These discussions are based
systems are discussed, including stand configura- on an AEDC technical report which provides addi-
tions, design features and calibration system techni- tional detail on thrust stand design.
ques which are employed at the ETF facilities.
Discussion on a variety of thrust stand designs is Basic Concepts
presented with the intention of consolidating into one
Force Vector
document much of the experience accumulated in
the ETF. The discussion focuses on facilitating a The motion of a free body has six degrees of
better understanding of the "why" of the system freedom. Any force or moment acting on a free body
design and focuses on systems that have the cap- can be specified by a combination of components
\ ~
ability to provide very accurate force measurements. aligned along or about three orthogonal axis. In the
caseof a propulsion system, the forces and moments
v Introduction
on the test article may arise from propulsion system
Successful development, evaluation, and qualific- thrust, support column reactions, service line reactions,
ation of propulsion systems such as turbojet and tur- weight of the suspended body, inertial forces
bofan engines and rocket motors require the mea- resulting from the dynamic environment, and aero-
surement of the performance and reliability of these dynamic forces. The vector sum of all these forces
systems. Performance evaluation in turn uses several and moments must equal zero for equilibrium. To
parameters (for example, specific fuel consumption, define this force vector, it is necessary to specify its
net thrust, and specific and total impulse) that require direction, magnitude, and location.
precise measurement of thrust. Thrust can be
Thrust Stand Concepts
determined bv several basic methods' such as scale
force measurement, internal momentum balance, and
For this discussion test article thrust is the pri-
calculations using a nozzle coefficient. The method
mary force of interest, and can be represented by a
primarib used in the Engine Test Facility (ETF) at the
thrust vector, The function of a thrust is to
Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) is
restrain the test article while measuringan adequate
the scale force measurement, with other methods
number of forces to define the thrust vector. For
often employed to complement this technique.* Of
some test programs, it is adequate to measure only
these techniques, only the scale force measurement
certain components of the total forces and moments
technique will be discussed here.
and assume the other comoonents to be within an
~~ ~ ~~

The basis of the Scaleforce measurement tech- acceptable range. One such example is an axial force
nique is a system of frames, support columns, load measurement made with a single component mea-

W
T h e research reported herein was performed by the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC). Air Force Systems
Command. Work and analysis for this research were done by personnel of Sverdrup Technology. Inc., AEDC Group, operating contractor
for the AEDC propulsion test facilities. Further reproduction is authorized to satisfy needs of the U. S. Government.
'v "Senior Member, AIAA.
tMember. AIAA
ThiliPBPdri.derlareda~ulrkoftheU.S. government and is
not iubjecttocopynght pmtertion inLheUnitodStotes.

1
surement system. In this instance, the magnitude and configuration can be adapted to a variety of test
direction are measured and the location is assumed article requirements with minimum modification. LJ
to be on the test article centerline. Another example
is a side force measurement in which it is sufficient Basically, thrust stand systems are configured
with a floating system which is attached to a fixed
4
to measure only changes in side forces such as
those resulting from gimbaling. A thrust stand can, system. The floating system is an assembly consisting
therefore, be any of several different configurations, of the test article, adapter, and floating frame. This
each of which would be designed to meet the floating system is attached to the fixed or ground
required criteria for a specific installation. Criteria are frame by flexured columns. The flexured columns
driven by test needs such as the type of test article, allow the floating system to "float" with respect to
thrust levels, measurements accuracy, dynamic ground. Additional discussion of flexured columns is
response, and a single or multicomponent force provided later in this paper.
measurement.
Single Component Stand Configurations
Thrust Stand Configurations
The basic configuration (and probably the most
General numerous) is the single component thrust stand
which measures only axial force. For the purpose of
A cursory review of the ETF propulsion test this discussion, thrust stands are also divided into
facilities reveals that a significant number of different two subcategories. These subcategories are on-axis
configurations are used to accomplish force measure- and off-axis systems that refer to the relative location
ment. This variation in configurations can lend of the data load cell axis. On-axis systems have the
confusion to one's efforts to achieve a basic under- data load cell measurement axis on the test article
standing of the favorable characteristics of component axis, and off-axis systems have the data load cell
design and system operation. A summary of the installed on an offset but parallel axis, which is
force measurement capabilities of the propulsion generally offset to accommodate the air supply for
system test cells in the ETF is tabulated in Table 1. air-breathing engines. The on-axis configuration is
generally used for rocket motor testing. 't /J
Table 1. Thrust Stand Characteristics
A basic horizontal on-axis configuration for rocket .J
motor thrust measurement is shown in Fig. la. The
horizontal configuration is favored for testing solid-
propellant rocket motors (SRMs) because the changing
motor weight does not directly influence the thrust
measured by the axial load cell. For the on-axis
configuration, the centerline of the measurement
I-1~~
MULTICOMPONENT 100.000 AIR BREATHING device (the data load cell) is coincident with the
1-2 MULTI(OMP0NLNT 60,000 AIR BREATHING centerline of the test article. The thrust stand for this
1-26 AXIAL 20,000 ROCKET installation is designed to keep these two centerlines
1.3
.. ~.
MULTItOMPONENT , 200.000 ROCKET alianed durina calibration and testina. Fiaure l b
I -
~~~~~

1.4I
,
I YIIITlCllMPllNFNT Vlflflflfl 1
I ---,--- RflfKFI
. .. . shows an alternate vertical test confiaurhonwhich is
1-5 MULTICOMPONENT 300,000 RO(KE1 driven by the requirement for some rocket motors to
C.l MULTI(OMPONEN1 10.000 AIR BREATHING be tested in the vertical flight attitude (often liquid-
(-2 MULTI(OMP0NENT 10.000 AIR BREATHING propellant rocket motors (LRMs)). Both configurations

data load cell for measurement.


The task of choosing a thrust stand design
configuration must consider several factors. These Examples of off-axis configurations are shown in
factors include the type of test article (such as a Figs. 2a and 2b for air-breathing engines. In Fig. 2a,
rocket motor or an air-breathing engine), its physical the test article is supported from below. The ground
size, whether it is to be tested in the vertical or frame is attached to the cell floor. The assembly
horizontal configuration, the test facility constraints, (including the engine) can be readily removed from
and the number of force components and their the test cell and relocated as a unit to a work area for
required accuracy. Thrust stands are expensive and easy access during rework or replacement of the
can take many months to design, fabricate, install,
and certify. Because a specific stand cannot generally
be built for each test article, the design should
engine. In Fig. 2b, the test article is supported from
above and offers the advantage that large engines
can be wheeled in on handling dollies and lifted into
-
incorporate sufficient adaptability such that the position. This configuration also allows pylon mounting

2
~4

'd

tOMPENSAlOR UNll

a. Horizontal on-axis configuration


Fig. 1. Multicomponent thrust stand.
HYDR. CYLINDER ponent measurement capability to multi-
component capability. The level of complication
varies for different types of test articles, but it
~ ~ [ ~ / ~ ~ / is significant for all. Some of the obvious
+L( effects include increases in both initial and
operational cost and increases in design, fabri-
'0 'ORWARD 'IDE
FORCE LOAD Cfll
cation, installation, and analysis complexity.
Historically, only the testing of rocket
AFT SIDE FORCE motors has required multicomponent force
lELL
measurements. However, with the advent of
LIQUID ROCKET air-breathing engines which utilize vectored
lEST nozzles for aircraft maneuverability has come
the requirement for thrust stands configured for
multicomponent force measurement. Currently,
four ETF propulsion test cells for air-breathing
engine testing have been redesigned for multi-
component force measurement. Three ETF
propulsion test cells for rocket motor testing
currently have multicomponent force measure-
ment capabilities.
b. Vertical on-axis configuration.
Figure 1. Concluded. The configuration of a multicomponent thrust
stand depends on several variables in addition . to
..
~

of the test article, if desired. Test article servicing those mentioned above for the single component
can often be accomplished in the same manner as stand configuration. To completely define the vector
on engines which are installed below the wing of an of a test article, a six-component force-measurement
aircraft. An additional benefit of the configurations stand is required allowing the identification of forces
shown in Figs. 2a and 2b is that removal and along three orthogonal axis and moments about each
W replacQment of the engine does not disturb the of these axis. In practice, less than six components
alignment of the flexured support columns. are often adequate to meet test requirements.

Multicomponent Thrust Stand Configurations A thrust stand configuration for horizontal testing
4
of rocket motors is shown in Fia. l a with an SRM~~

Significant complications arise when force mea- installed. This example is of a sk-component thrust
suremont requirements transition from single com- stand.

3
i

nT?77TV GROUND PLANE SUPPORT


0 EIASTK PIVOT (FLEXURES)
a. Air breathing engine mounted above thrust stand
(ALIBRATION FORCE ACTUATOR WITH DIS(ONNf(T
ULIBRITION LOA0 CELL WITH FLEXURES FLEXURE0 SUPPORT COLUMNS (4)
THRUST MEASUREMENT
LOAD CELL WITH FLEXURES

INLET DUCIING
LABRINIH SEAL
b. Air breathing engine mounted on overhead thrust stand
Fig. 2. Typical off-axis thrust stand.

A rocket multicomponent stand configuration is However, for this configuration the total impulse in
represented in Fig. l b . Although only one plane is the axial direction can be determined to approxi-
shown in this figure, the installation is a six-com- mately the same accuracy level as in the horizontal
ponent thrust stand. In this vertical installation, the configuration by using accurate total expended mass
test article is attached to a floating frame which, in measurements. A disadvantage of horizontal testing
turn, is attached to the ground frame through the (Fig. la) is the difficulty in separating vertical forces
axial and side force measurement columns. The test resulting from nozzle gimbaling in the vertical plane
article can be removed with a minimum of distur- from those resulting from weight changes.
bance to the load columns.

One disadvantage of vertical testing of an SRM


(Fig. lb) is that the motor weight is included in the
data load column measurement along the thrust axis.
An unique configuration for a multicomponent
thrust stand is utilized in the ETF test cells C-1 and
C-2 for air-breathing engine testing. The configuration
emphasizes the "adaptability of design" concept that
-
4
was identified earlier. A single component stand the columns. This configuration has the capability of
L/ (floating axial frame) existed (Fig. 3) when the measuring the three orthogonal forces and two of the
requirement for a multicomponent force measure- moments. The yaw moment is reacted into the lower
ment capability in the C-cells was established. A sig- two axial thrust reaction columns but is not mea-
'd
nificant savings of resources was achieved by adapt- sured. The lower two axial thrust reaction columns
ing the existing configuration to a multicomponent transfer the axial thrust to the overhead floating frame
capability, rather than providing a new multi- where the axial force is measured by a single load
component thrust stand. cell column. This configuration minimizes any inter-
action into the axial measurement from pitch or yaw
The multicomponent addition is shown in Fig. 3a. forces or moments. However, interaction from the
-
The sketch in Fia. 3b shows the relative lavout of all

FLOATING AXIAL FM€

@METRIC COMPONENTS(MULTICOMPONENT)
a. Multicomponent addition to basic thrust stand
2
o ON-BOARD ATTACH POINTS
a FLEXURf PIVOT
.. a LOAD CfLL, OATA OR CAll8RATE
..' 4% 0 ON-BROAD GROUND (TO AXIAL STAND)
3 AXIAL STAND GROUND

MY PITCH MOMENT

.- TEST ARTICLE
b. Detail of multicomponent load columns
Fig. 3. Adaptability of a basic stand design,

5
axial into the pitch or yaw measurement can occur percent for LRM installations. It should be empha-
and depends on column alignment and service line sized that for tare to be acceptable it must be '.J
interference. This configuration is used in both of the accountable. Therefore, the concepts and plans for
test cells (C-1 and C-2), and its performance has tare accountability must begin early in the design '--d
been successful in meeting test requirements. process. Tare forces can be conveniently categorized
as deflection tare, interaction tare, and gravity tare.
Design Considerations Discussion of these three categories follows.

General
r A
c
ENGINE SERVICES

Thrust stands are expensive and can take


several months to design, fabricate, install, and
certify for testing. Test schedules allow minimum
time for shakedown and resolution of any problems
that surface. These factors tend to motivate
conservative design approaches that draw heavily on
past experience.
E
z
2
A thrust stand, as part of the overall force
measurement system, is judged by the quality of the
thrust data obtained and the accessibility it allows to
-
*
c
zr

the test article. Good design is also reflected in the


ease with which the stand can be maintained within
alignment specifications and free of extraneous tare
forces.
U
STAND DEFLECTION
Several interrelated subjects are involved in a ,
Fig. 4. Typical components of thrust stand tares. /
general discussion of force measurement systems.
The choice of grouping of these subjects into two or v
three headings is often related to convenience. This Deflectlon Tare - Deflection tare is associated
section on stand design focuses on system tares, with the force required to deflect the stand or a
load columns. and system calibration. component through a distance of interest. One
source of deflection tare is the resistance to stand
System Tare deflection of service lines that transition from the
fixed stand to the floating members of the installation.
The concept of tare in relation to force measure- Resistance to deflection also includes bending
ment has different meanings or at least different resistance of the flexures in the support columns and
shades of meaning, to different people. These varia- interference with stand motion as a result of unin-
tions in meanings often depend on one's level of tentional contact between fixed and moveable
involvement in the force measurement task. The components. Individual instrumentation tubing and
static weight of a body on a force measuring system wiring are generally of small diameter (less than 0.25
is often considered tare, but a less limiting definition in.) and will produce little tare if they are arranged
is adopted here since the effect of this force can be and secured with reasonable care. Large numbers of
readily accounted for by zero shifts in the data tubing lines can require special attention and should
reduction. The concept of tare being the difference be addressed in the same manner as the service
between an applied force and the measured force will lines. Deflection tare is usually the major tare
be adopted for this discussion. The range of tare contributor with turbine engine and LRM installations.
varies considerably according to the type of test
configuration and hardware installation with the major The plumbing of service lines from the fixed
contributors identified in Fig. 4. This variation makes stand to the floating stand or test article will produce
quantifying a general tare level difficult, but an tare when deflection occurs. Whether the resulting
estimate based on experience would be that tare tare is acceptable or becomes a problem will depend
varies from 0.1 to 0.5 percent of applied load for on the design of the hardware and techniques for
SRM installations, from 0.2 to 1.5 percent for air making the transition. It should be emphasized again,
breathing engine installations and from 1 to 2.5 that for tare to be acceptable, it must be accountable.

6
There are several factors to be considered for THRUST STAND (MOVABLE)

-
<d accountability:
1. While flexible metal hose will require less force
than pipe to bend, its movement involves friction
forces and is not considered repeatable. Therefore, it
is not recommended if force measurement is critical.
ANCHOR POINT

2. All lines must be firmly anchored at each end


of the section that crosses from ground to the float-
ing frame. These two anchor points should preferably
lie in the same plane and be at right angles to the
thrust axis (as shown in Fig. sa) to minimize and
account for the resulting tare. The flexure support
concept shown in Fig. 5a accommodates the stand
movement along the thrust line, which places a
FLEXING DIRECTION ’/
tension load in the line and increases tare and GROUND PLANE’
loading on the anchor points. This concept also accom- a. Flexure support
modates line length changes resulting from changes
in line temperature. A variation of the flexure support THRUSI STAND (MOVABLE)
concept is shown in Fig. 5b as bends in the line are
utilized to provide for axial compliance and accom-
modate line thermal effects. The configuration shown
in Fig. 5c is often used with lines of smaller
diameters. This installation is only acceptable when
the anchor is capable of withstanding the torsional
stress induced into the line which, in practice,
, generally requires welded anchors. Any slippage of
the line within the anchor results in tare hysteresis.
4
3. Caution should be exercised in the use of ball SAME VERTICAL PLANE]
joints and gimbal joints in service lines to the thrust
stand. The flexibility of these joints is often loadlpres-
sure-dependent, which can result in non-repeatable b. Small line installation practice
tare forces.
r I H R U S T STAND (MOVABLE)
4. If any part of the test article or thrust stand
floating frame contacts an item connected to the
ground (test cell structure) during calibration or test
operation, it can introduce error. Any force trans-
mitted through this contact becomes a part of the
total tare force. This type of tare will seldom follow
the rules of linearity or repeatability. Close clearances
should therefore be avoided between the stand and
ground components especially in areas not readily
accessible for inspection. Be watchful also of fea- GROUND PLANE -
tures susceptible to trapping dirt or loose parts
between the thrust stand and ground.
Interaction Tare - Interaction tare is the result c. Alternate practice welded anchor installation.
of a support column becoming misaligned from the Figure 5. Service line installation.
desired orthogonal pattern. In the theoretical case of
w perfect alignment where all columns are and remain column load which affect the loads (by interaction
parallel to their corresponding x, y, or z axis, the load tare) in other columns. Consider an example in one

., in each column is independent, and load changes


along one axis will have no effect on the columns
parallel to the other axes. A misaligned support
plane, a typical horizontal rocket motor test stand in
which the weight of the engine and floating frame are
carried by vertical, parallel, equal length flexured
column has x. y. or z components of the misaligned columns. Assume perfect alignment at zero thrust

7
p OFFSET DUE IO measurement of vertically supported SRMs requires
(OMPRESSID special data analysis procedures to determine axial J
force but otherwise does not pose any unusual
design problems other than requiring provisions for J
motor loading.

THRUST Load Columns

MOIOR WEIGHT COLUMN Joint Design - Joint design affects stand


performance and ease of installation and alignment.
S[HEMAII( OF DEFLECTION A loose joint will cause nonrepeatable or, at best,
nonlinear tare. Support column components with
differential pitch or opposite hand threads permit
column length adjustment for stand alignment.
However, a thread engagement without some means
I for adequate preload will result in joint looseness.
Lock nuts are a simple means of providing a preload,
but high torque values are usually required to be
completely effective. Joining two male threads with a
split coupling (Fig. 7) is a popular component design
Fig. 6. Schematic of reaction loads. and is recommended as one means to ensure joint
stiffness. The threads provide length adjustment, and
and a data load cell parallel to the thrust axis. transverse clamp screws remove looseness.
As the level of thrust is increased, the floating
frame will move forward (Fig. 6 ) due to
compression of the axial load column. The
movement allows the vertical columns to be
inclined slightly, and an axial component of
each, resulting from the system weight or
side load, becomes a part of the tare load
into the axial force measurement. The value
of the interaction force is the tangent of the
angle of inclination multiplied by the load in
each column. The term "pendulum effect" is
6 FLEXURE
SPLIT NU1 ASSY.

sometimes used in reference to this particular Fig.7. Typical load column configuration.
form of weight interaction.

Temperature gradients between test cell and A very effective joint is composed of two abutting
thrust stand or within the thrust stand structure cause flanges with slightly conical back surfaces so that a
distortions and misalignmentthat can produce two-piece collar will draw the flanges together. The
interactionforces in the Same manner and into any joint is very stiff, does not require orientation of
load column. This tare source is particularly trouble- mating Parts, and is easy to join. The joint does not,
some because thermal test conditions seldom can be however, provide a of length adjustment.
duplicated during calibration or checkout.
Load Cell Trains - Incorporating a load cell in a
Gravity Tare - Gravity tare is the result of flexured support column permits measurement of
changing test article weight. This occurs in axial reaction load on that axis and is termed a "load cell
thrust measurement in a vertical test stand or side train." Spacers are used to add length as needed to
load measurement on the vertical axis of horizontal load cell trains. When a spacer is used to lengthen a
stands. LRMs with a constant weight (such as an off- load cell train, the load cell should be kept as close
engine propellant feed configuration) during operation to the grounded end as possible for column stability.
do not pose a gravity tare problem, but SRMs do The flexures should be of the universal type and
require special consideration. Side load measurement serve the function of isolating the load cell from all

-
of SRMs is therefore best accomplished in the but column axial loads. The universal type also
horizontal plane. A vertical plane measurement has a minimizes the column length required to provide this
high tare-to-thrust ratio and a time-dependent tare function and aids in identifying the flexure pivot point.
due to weight loss of the expended propellant. Thrust Detailed information on flexures is provided in Ref. 3.

8
Most load cells in use at ETF have female end those resulting from system tare loads. The calibra-
threads. The load cells are attached to the load trains tion of the thrust stand will quantify the tares and
by adapters with matching male threads. The allow the identification of other operational
adapters normally fitted to these cells have a characteristics. Obtaining an accurate calibration of a
shoulder that tightens against the load cell face. Man- system installation is basic to validation of the
ufacturers limit torque on the cell to 10 to 20 percent capability of a stand to provide the required level of
of the rated thread torque capacity (torque in inch- performance.
pounds). These adapters should be fitted prior to lab
calibration and not disturbed thereafter. It is important It is often difficult to obtain the same response
that the adapter mating stud not bottom in the cell's from each tare source during calibration loading as
threaded hole because of a potential induced load that obtained during test article loading even though
that could change the load cell sensitivity. it is a primary objective of the calibration. The
primary reason for this difference is inability of the
Most load cells are temperature compensated calibration loading device to duplicate the deflection
over a specified temperature range, but accurate in the stand that engine thrust forces produce. The
compensation requires the load cell temperature to difference can be minimized by focusing on the
be uniform throughout the load cell. In rocket testing, following three techniques: (1) Provide a Calibration
insulation wrapped over the trains is usually adequate configuration that will duplicate as closely as practical
for the short run durations. Jet engine tests use the test article loading to the stand. (2) Stiffen the
water-cooled jackets over the load train. The floating frame to reduce differences in deflection
jacketing should extend far enough to preclude resulting from the two different force loading modes.
thermal conduction into the load cell. (3) Locate anchor points of tare-producing items so
that deflection differences resulting from these
System Calibratlon different force loading modes are negligible. The
methods and configuration utilized to accomplish this
General calibration will be discussed.
Thrust stand calibration is one of the most
On-Axis Thrust System Calibration
important steps in the development process for a
force measurement system. The load cell calibrations The calibration systems shown in Fig. 1 repre-
are performed to remove system bias errors and sents an "on-axis'' data measurement system with an
provide traceability to a reference standard. Of "on-axis" thrust system calibrator. The calibrator unit
additional importance the fact that it is one of the last remains in place and is mechanically disconnected
things to be accomplished before the system is ready from the force measuring system when it is not in
to use in testing and therefore provides an oppor- use. This configuration for rocket engine testing
tunity for system checkout. Planning for the calibra- allows verification of tare force accountability before
tion system should be accomplished during the early each test period with a minimum amount of time and
phases of the design effort. effort. This allows for recalibration after configuration
modifications of tare-producing service lines or after
A calibration establishes the relationship between disassembly for replacement of the test article. This
a system with known force characteristics with the is a benefit for SRM testing since the motors are
output of the measurement device being calibrated. changed after each test.
Since the individual components of a force measure-
ment system such as the load cell, power supplies The calibration system consists of a force
and conditioning and recording systems, are also applicator and a force measuring system. The force
calibrated individually, the need for an in-place, applicator could be of various designs, including a
applied-load calibration system for a thrust stand is hydraulic cylinder (Fig. lb), a lever system activated
sometimes not apparent. In the case of a strain gage by electric or hydraulically driven motors, or a
load cell, its calibration can be accomplished in the deadweight system as shown in Fig. la. The force
laboratory where the output of the load cell is related measuring systems usually include a reference load
to a known applied load. However, once the load cell cell to determine the applied force. This reference
is installed in the thrust stand the load cell becomes load cell is generally referred to as a "working
one component of the thrust stand system, which is standard" load cell, providing measurement of the
the system to be calibrated. calibration force applied to the system and thereby
providing "traceability" to the National Institute of
The measurement characteristics of the thrust Standards and Technology (NET). For a deadweight
stand system must therefore be determined. Errors system, the moment arms, the resistance of the pivot
accounted for by the system calibration are primarily points, and the buoyancy effects of the weights can

9
be taken into account through certification with a through these off-axis calibrations. Thrust stand
reference load cell. design and location of service piping can overcome '' J
most of the problems of the off-axis calibrator
Off-Axis Thrust System Calibration configurations. In choosing the location of service . ./
lines it is desirable to ensure that most (approaching
The thrust stands configured for air-breathing
90 percent) of the tare identified through on-axis
engine testing require an "on-axis,'' applied load cali-
loading is also identified by the off-axis loading.
bration to provide validation of bias error account-
ability for the off-axis data load cell. "On-axis'' Summary and Conclusions
calibrations of an off-axis thrust stand are usually
time consuming. Therefore, techniques are used to Principles and practices currently used at the
provide "health monitoring" calibrations with "off- AEDC ETF have been described in this report.
axis" calibration systems. These health monitoring Extensive experience with the use of thrust measure-
systems can complete a calibration in a matter of ment systems in the ETF has demonstrated that
minutes and the results can be directly related to the thrust stands can be designed to meet propulsion
on-axis calibration. system requirements. However, design features are
extremely important, and considerable weight must
The off-axis measurement system can be be given to operational features such as ease of
calibrated on-axis by removing the test article and calibration.
installing calibration hardware on the centerline. Also,
an on-axis calibration can be accomplished by using Desirable design and operational procedures
two working standard calibration units set on the which tend to facilitate high-quality thrust stand
centerline astraddle the test article. These loading performance have been developed. Consideration of
systems provide realistic frame moments and deflec- all potential tare forces must be made during design.
tions to the data load system and account for system Tares must be identified, understood, and quantified
tares that are present when the calibration is for data correction. Frequent calibration checks are
conducted. These systems must be removed before basic to the satisfactory operation of thrust stands.
testing the test article; therefore, special care must \ / J

be exercised during installation of the test article. Certification of individual thrust stand compo-
This is to ensure that the tare forces accounted for in nents, as well as the total thrust stand system, must ' )
the calibration remain essentially constant and no be made with ample documentation. Certification
additional lines or other tare sources are added after establishes magnitudes of errors and allows trace-
the calibration that would result in a change in the ability of measurements to NIST. With sufficient
tare loads. Any significant modification of the attention to detail during the design, installation,
installation that would affect the characteristics of the certification, and operation phases, accurate measure-
tare loads could, therefore, require a recalibration of ments can routinely be obtained from thrust stands.
the system.
References
An off-axis system calibration can be accom-
1. Smith, R. E. Jr. and Wehofer. S., "Measure-
plished in-place with configurations normally
ment of Engine Thrust in Altitude Ground Test
associated with air-breathing engine testing. An off-
Facilities," AIM-82-0572, AlAA 12th Aerodynamic
axis arrangement places the calibration load cell train
Testing Conference, March 1982.
with a force mechanism above the engine and
parallel with the data load train. This above-thrust- 2. Bartlett, C. R. and Turner, F. E., "Performance
axis configuration is shown in Fig. 2b, although this Evaluation Methods for the High-Bypass-Ratio
system applies a known calibration load along a line- Turbofan," AIM-75-1206, AIWSAE 11th Propulsion
of-action parallel to, but offset from, the line of thrust Conference, October 1975.
of the test article. However, this location does not
reproduce the bending moments that engine thrust 3. Ormond, A.N. "Flexures Used in Force and
imposes on the stand, and the engine translation Thrust Measuring Systems." ISA Conference 118-
which results from these moments is not duplicated LA-61-1, Sept. 1961.

10