Vibration sensors: Used on space shuttle engines

NASA's space shuttle Endeavour went into orbit last month with engines fitted with new controllers, Endevco Corp.’s model 7704M7 vibration sensors, which actively monitor engine health and performance.

09/11/2007


San Juan Capistrano, CA

NASA

's space shuttle Endeavour went into orbit last month with engines fitted with new controllers,

Endevco Corp

.’s model 7704M7 vibration sensors, which actively monitor engine health and performance.

Three engines from

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

, Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs), the world’s only reusable rocket engines, used the new Advanced Health Management System (AHMS) controllers to monitor engine turbopump vibration, and, if necessary, to automatically shut down an engine. The controllers also track the history of key performance parameters. This was the first mission in which all controllers were in active mode and enabled to prompt actions in the engine systems if unacceptable vibration levels were detected during the 8.5 minute engine firing during launch.


Endevco Model 7704M7 accelerometer monitors vibration on space shuttle engines.

The Endevco model 7704 Series Isoshear piezoelectric accelerometers are designed to be extremely stable and insensitive to environmental inputs such as base bending and thermal transients. The series has been tested in a radiation environment up to 108rads without performance degradation. It features the company’s Piezite Type P-8 crystal element, operating in shear mode. It requires no external power source for operation.

Endevco president, Scott Silcok, says, “We are honored to have been selected to provide a critical component for an innovative system designed to support efforts by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and Pratt & Whitney in continually improving safety for NASA shuttle crews. Opportunities like this also provide vital experience in extreme environments that we can apply throughout our development of sensing solutions for aerospace and other applications that demand consistently high performance levels.”

—Edited by Barb Axelson, contributing editor
Control Engineering Weekly News
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