ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sandia National Laboratories recently launched a bus to the space. Not the type with wheels that go round and round, but the type of device that connects electronic devices (USB cable, which is short for "general serial bus," is one common example) t ).
The bus was one of 16 experiments on board two sounding rocket launches launched as part of the Ministry of National Nuclear Security's SHOT HOT program, which carries out experiments and scientific tests developing rocket technologies without switching off. The appropriate flights were held on April 23 and April 24 at the Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii.
The pair of flights showed an increase in the temperature of the program.
"The Sandia team succeeded in developing, manufacturing, and launching two different payloads in less than 11 months," said Nick Leathe, who oversaw the development of the payload. The last SHOT HOT plane – a single rocket launched in May 2018 – took 16 months to develop.
Sandia, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Kansas City National Security Campus, and the Atomic Weapons Institute based on K. provided experiments for this series of HOT SHOTs.
The rockets also included several improvements over the previous one launched last year, including new sensors to measure pressure, temperature and acceleration. These additions gave researchers more detail about the conditions their experiments faced when traveling through the atmosphere.
The experimental bus was tested, for example, to find out whether components would be robust enough to operate during a rocket launch. The new technology was designed specifically for the distribution of power in national security applications and could make another electronic easier to upgrade. It includes semiconductors developed by Sandia and it was made to withstand intense radiation.
Sandia is planning another pair of launches in August. The name HOT SHOT comes from the term "high operating tempo," which refers to the relatively high frequency of flights. A fast flight schedule allows scientists and engineers to perform multiple tests in a highly specialized test environment in a quick sequence.
For the recent flight tests, one Sandia team prepared two experiments, one for each flight, to observe in different ways the dramatic temperature and the pressure swings that are normal in archery but difficult are reproduced on the ground. The researchers aim to improve software that models these conditions for national security applications, and they now analyze the flight data for discrepancies between what they observed and what their software anticipated. Differences could lead to scientific insights that would help to refine the program.
Some experiments also studied possible further improvements for HOT SHOT itself, including additional manufactured parts that could be incorporated into future rockets and measuring instruments that measure rocket vibration.
The rockets sounded to reach a height of about 1.2 million feet and to fly about 220 nautical miles down to the Pacific Ocean. Sandia uses refurbished rocket machines, making these tests more economical than conventional flight tests common to the end of technology development.
The HOT SHOT program enables faster learning cycles for engineers and experimenters. "Our goal is to take a 10 year process to cut it to three years without losing quality in the technologies resulting from this. HOT SHOT is the first step to that direction," said Todd Hughes, NNSA HOT SHOT Federal Program Manager.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-motoring laboratory operated by Sandia LLC National Technology and Engineering Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the National Nuclear Security Administration Department. Energy Department Energy. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear prevention, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with the main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.
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