Original Date: 08/08/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Automated Propellant Weighing
CSTA has automated the critical process of quality control and accountability in processing ammunition. Weapon systems testing at CSTA requires extreme accuracy and repeatability on all propellant and powder charges used in the test of ammunition. Prior to changing the propellant weighing system, CSTA personnel weighed each charge independently on shadowgraph scales, recorded the weight on data sheets, and then had the scales reading verified by the test director responsible for that test. This process was time consuming, subject to operator error, and unnecessarily exposed personnel to risks associated with ammunition assembly.
Between 1991 and 1992, CSTA surveyed the market for an electronic digital scale that could be used to assist in these tasks. Because such a scale with the necessary safety requirements, variable range, repeatability, and preciseness was not available, CSTA commissioned the Fairbanks Scale Company to develop one. The design requirements included a system that would be explosion proof, have a digital readout capability, have computer and printer interface capability, be user friendly, and maintain weight accuracy from a few grains to several pounds. Fairbanks developed and produced the scale while CSTA personnel developed the computer program to interface with the hardware.
Using this system has afforded CSTA several benefits including:
Reduced personnel exposure since a test director no longer has to verify the weighing of each charge Faster and more precise digital scales
A computer printout to provide a record and verification of the weights
More accurate test data to enhance the validity of the weapons systems test.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.