Very Large Volume, Variable Pressure Chamber for the High Speed Test Track

Period of Performance: 06/16/2003 - 03/16/2004

$99.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Syncroness, Inc.
4640 Granby Circle
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The Holloman Air Force Base High Speed Test Track (HSTT) requires the ability to test large and small payloads in a controlled environment that sufficiently represents flight conditions at varying higher altitudes. HSTT also requires the ability to conduct tests at hypersonic velocities where aerodynamic drag and aero-thermal heating limit the maximum velocity and survivability of payloads and test equipment when conducted at ground level atmospheric conditions. A partition-able, evacuate-able chamber that mounts on the track girder would enable HSTT to conduct both kinds of testing more easily and safely with minimal changes to the infrastructure. During Phase I of this SBIR, Syncroness, Inc. will define and assess the feasibility of a concept for this portable system that will replicate high altitude flight conditions for monorail, narrow gauge and dual rail sleds. The system will be designed for positioning anywhere on the existing track facility and will aim for low per use cost and on-going maintenance. The final deliverables will include assessments of the feasibility, schedule, and cost associated with the finalized approach as well as recommendations for mitigating whatever risk remains in the design approach. In order for this concept to succeed, several technologies will have to be invented or improved. These technologies include field capable, high volume vacuum systems; an active pressure monitoring and valve control system; portable chamber sealing interfaces; complex geometry sealing methods and large scale pre-formed structures. Near term commercial applications might include field hospitals and air structure buildings; portable sealing tools for contaminated structures; large system vacuum centers such as particle accelerators and wind tunnels; and large, light-weight, pre-formed, modular structures. Long-term applications include MagLev based spacecraft launching and evacuated subways/overheads.