Dynamic Force Measurement Capabilities for Hypersonic Wind Tunnel Testing

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The object of this research is to characterize a new hybrid force measurement methodology using a piezoelectric balance in parallel with a conventional strain gauge balance, with the goal of enabling wide frequency range measurements for use in hypersonic ground test facilities. This technology, developed in collaboration with the Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 at AEDC in White Oak, Maryland, is expected to provide accurate static and dynamic force and moment measurements on conventional test articles, providing simultaneous force, moment, heat transfer, and pressure measurements for maximal test productivity.

A finite element model of the model-balance-sting assembly was developed to perform static and transient simulations and thereby characterize the influence of design parameters such as model weight, stiffness, and placement of load cells. This thesis describes the work done with the computational model, paralleling ongoing laboratory work, which includes development of methodologies for static calibration and dynamic calibration using acceleration compensation.