DRDO inaugurates test facility for rocket sledge track

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    New Delhi: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) inaugurated a national test facility in Chandigarh, called the Rail Track Rocket Sled (RTRS) Penta Rail Supersonic Track. It will be used to test critical systems for rockets, aircraft and warfare.
    “India is among a handful of countries in the world now possessing this unique test facility,” said DRDO chief Avinash Chander said at the inauguration.

    Additional Information


    The facility consists of five rails, each having a length of 4km, on which a test article can be propelled at supersonic speed with the help of specially designed rockets, according to Manjit Singh, scientist & director at DRDO’s Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory.
    “The track built for this purpose is precision-aligned and capable of withstanding high level of loads. The capability so acquired will accelerate the pace of development of defence and aerospace technologies and products,” he said.

    Tests can be designed to simulate unique scenarios and to provide the maximum data from each test. The facility provides a 10,000-foot track for testing items at very high speeds and a 2,000-foot railroad gauge track for testing very large items. The combination of ingenuity, experience, and instrumentation available at this facility makes it unique for research, test, and evaluation purposes.

    The Rocket Sled Track incorporates exceptional instrumentation capabilities, including telemetry, hardened on-board data recorders, hardwired data acquisition systems, high speed video, flash x-ray, and film cameras. These systems gather data from a variety of instruments and transducers. Time-space-position information (TSPI) systems acquired data up to 1kHz with a 1 ft accuracy. Data acquisition systems are capable of acquiring data at sample rates up to 1MHz.

    Traditional sled tests accelerate a test item attached to a rocket sled into a stationary target. This method typically limits the data acquisition capabilities due to the use of on-board data recorders. A reverse ballistic test, pioneered at the Rocket Sled Track, accelerates the target into a stationary test item. This method allows recording of many hardwired channels of data at high-frequencies.

    The Rocket Sled Track includes testing parachutes for weapons, aircraft, and space vehicles using towers and ejector sleds. TSPI data can be gathered via telemetry and high-speed photography. The large ejector sled capability includes launching test items weighing up to 2,400 pounds to 250 feet of altitude at speeds up to Mach 1.5. The small ejector sled capability includes launching test items weighing up to 100 pounds as high as 200 feet at speeds approaching Mach 3.

    Free-Flight Rocket Testing
    The use of small free-flight rockets allows the delivery of payloads and munitions to altitudes and velocities not attainable using ejector sleds. The use of telemetry, high-speed video, and film coverage yield real-time trajectory data.

    Acceleration Testing
    The relationship between acceleration, velocity, and distance traveled by a test item can be simulated in a variety of ways. Positive and negative acceleration levels up to 1000's of g's are possible.

    Aerodynamics Testing
    Aerodynamic characteristics—as they relate to a test item's shape, acceleration, velocity, and distance traveled—can be evaluated in a variety of ways depending on evaluation goals. Onboard cameras and data recording systems are routinely used for this type of application.

    DRDO inaugurates test facility for rocket sled track - Livemint
     
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