Point of Contact: Dr. David Lineberry, email: david.lineberry@uah.edu

The Propulsion Test Facility (PTF) provides the PRC with capabilities to remotely test propulsion systems and components. Propellant capabilities include gaseous oxygen, methane, hydrogen, and nitrogen. The facility can also provide controlled flows of liquid fuels such as RP-2, cryogenic oxygen, and cryogenic nitrogen. The PRC recently upgraded the test stand, cryogenic flow systems, and instrumentation capabilities in the Rocket Test Cell. The Thrust Stand shown below has thrust load capabilities from 500 lbf to 2,000 lbf. Operators can also configure the test stand for either horizontal firing or inclined firing (up to 45 degrees) for cryogenic liquid engines.

UAH 2,000 lbf Rocket Test Stand (With Solid Rocket Motor)

UAH Vertical Rocket Test Stand (With LOX Liquid Rocket Engine)

A data acquisition chassis was installed on the PRC test stand in 2018 and has sixteen high-frequency measurement channels, forty eight pressure channels, thirty two thermocouple channels, eight strain gauge channels, forty-eight digital input/output channels, integrated test camera support, analog and digital control cards, and enables remote monitoring of valve states and system pressures. The PRC pressure system was upgraded to support supply pressures of 3,000 psi, and two bulk nitrogen tanks for system pressure were acquired and added to the system. The new tanks provide 110 ft3 of storage volume with pressure limits up to 3,000 psi. A high-flow oxidizer leg was added to the test cell in 2018. The feed system has 1-inch feed lines that allow up to four times the mass flow rates of the existing PRC system and with the increased supply pressure, it can offer significantly longer test durations.

Initial demonstration tests in 2018 consisted of a 1,600-lbf thrust solid rocket motor horizontal test firing that acquired chamber pressure and thrust. The new cryogenic flow system also demonstrated a 2.7 lb./s LN2 flow for over 30 seconds. Both systems used the new data acquisition system for measurements during testing.