I have been working for ERC for around 6 years. I have spent that time working at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in the test area, designing Special Test Equipment (STE), initially for the Constellation Program and now for the Space Launch System (SLS) Program. I am currently working on the design of the SLS Engine Section (ES) Test structure that will introduce all loads seen at launch into the Structure Test Assembly (STA). This test will be performed in building 4619 here at MSFC and is scheduled for late 2015. This is the most complex test structure Marshall has scheduled to build for the SLS program. This test is very complex, with over 60 different hydraulic load lines that will be used to impart characteristic launch loads into the STA. The ES structure currently weighs approximately 1.6 million pounds! This is a massive structure with thousands of over 1” fasteners and huge complete joint penetration welds. To give an idea of the size of the I-beams used on the base structure (shown in gray in the picture below) , each beam is w36x441 and weighs 441 lbs. /ft. For logistics purposes, the structure is broken into various assemblies based on weight and applications . The design must be able to be fabricated and also able to be transported on the road, which has caused a lot of huddles for us as designers. Once the structure is delivered onsite in pieces, it will be assembled in the building by overhead cranes, as well as mobile cranes. It is an exciting project and will be very rewarding once we see the structure erected here at MSFC in the near future. I feel lucky to be involved in such an undertaking by NASA and am glad to be a part of the ERC team.
I serve as a CAD designer within the ET50 group, “Special Test Equipment,” at NASA MSFC in Huntsville, Alabama. Currently, I’m supporting design efforts for the Space Launch System (SLS) Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Forward Skirt (FS) test equipment . Specific tasks include the detailed design of the FS Vertical Stabilization System (VSS) reaction structures to be installed in test stand 4697 at Redstone Arsenal. Three structures will be used to induce tangential, radial, and axial loading into the STA VSS bracket. Below are CAD renderings of the tangential and radial reaction structures. These tests will be performed at Redstone Arsenal and are currently scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015.