Original Date: 04/01/1993
Revision Date: 01/19/2007
Information : Concurrent Design and Test
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-West has converged test development with concurrent engineering efforts. Test and verification personnel are an integral part of product development teams, and all tests conducted at MDA-West are a result of the work of concurrent engineering teams. Personnel from other functional areas are involved in the planning and design of tests. There are several examples and areas in this effort:
The Thermal Shroud Project The Thermal Shroud is a protective cover for the space station truss assembly. The project involved team members from design, test and verification, material and process, and others. Unlike past development projects, actual construction and test planning of the shroud was started prior to completion of its development. This resulted in the shroud being quickly completed. Using the concurrent engineering approach eliminated costly redesign efforts and improved the resulting product's quality.
Design Of Experiments (DOE) – MDA-West began implementing DOE in its testing projects and maintains that cost savings can be realized from conducting DOE. The Test and Verification group has identified an internal expert for facilitating the use of DOE in testing projects. The method is currently being used in the pyroshock area for gaining a better understanding of pyrotechnic shock phenomena. A DOE 3(2) factorial matrix was used for one set of tests to measure the effects, interaction, and relationship of position to amount of explosive. The results of this test demonstrated the effectiveness of DOE as a quick means of obtaining needed information with a minimum number of tests.
Rip-Stitch Another innovative adoption by the Test and Verification group is used during the demonstration of fairing separation. Fairings enclose the various sections of a rocket and must be separated when the rocket changes from one booster stage to another. McDonnell Douglas uses an explosive bolt technique. During the demonstration test, the fairing sections must be restrained during the explosion of the connecting bolts. This is accomplished by the use of Rip Stitch Energy Absorbing Chords. Such straps have been used for some time by mountain climbers to control falls. The strap is doubled and stitched together. If a climber should fall, the force of the fall starts to pull the two sections of the strap apart, and the stitching tears. As the stitches tear, they absorb energy and evenly decelerate the falling climber and stop the fall. This same technique is applied to decelerate and contain the falling sections of the rocket fairing.
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