Endevco sensors ride Space Shuttle | Automation.com

Endevco sensors ride Space Shuttle

Endevco sensors ride Space Shuttle
August 30, 2007 - Endevco provided advanced accelerometers for new main engine controllers used in the latest Space Shuttle launch.

On August 8, a trio of main engines provided by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne lifted the space shuttle Endeavour into orbit and on its way to the International Space Station. The Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) were fitted with new controllers, using Endevco model 7704M7 vibration sensors, to actively monitor engine health and performance.

All three Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SSMEs, the world’s only reusable rocket engines, carried the new Advanced Health Management System (AHMS) controllers which monitor engine turbopump vibration and can automatically shut down an engine if conditions warrant. The controllers also track a history of key performance parameters. This was the first mission in which all three controllers were in active mode and enabled to prompt actions in the engine systems if unacceptable vibration levels were detected during the eight and one-half minute firing of the engines during launch. The AHMS controller improves flight safety by offering near-instant and automatic response to potential problems in the event they occur.

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. This accelerometer series has been tested in a radiation environment up to 108 rads without performance degradation and features Endevco’s Piezite Type P-8 crystal element, operating in shear mode. In addition, it is a self-generating device that requires no external power source for operation.

“We are honored to have been selected to provide a critical component for an innovative system designed to support efforts by NASA and Pratt & Whitney in continually improving safety for NASA Shuttle crews,” said Endevco President Scott Silcock. “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.”

Endevco Corporation, a Meggitt group company, is one of the world's leading designers and manufacturers of dynamic instrumentation for vibration, shock and pressure measurement. The company's comprehensive line of piezoelectric, piezoresistive, ISOTRON and variable capacitance accelerometers are used to solve measurement problems in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, industrial and marine. Available products include pressure transducers, microphones, electronic instruments, and calibration systems. Founded in 1947 with headquarters in San Juan Capistrano, CA, ENDEVCO has a global network of manufacturing and research facilities, sales offices and field engineers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Meggitt PLC, headquartered in the UK, is an international group operating in North America, Europe and Asia. Known for its specialist extreme environment engineering, Meggitt is a world leader in aerospace, defense and electronic industries.

About Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies [NYSE:UTX] company, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified, Fortune 50 company providing high-technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., offers a complete line of propulsion products from launch vehicles to missile defense to advanced hypersonic propulsion. These products have been used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the Space Shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, and high-altitude defense systems.
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