10 May 2007 Modeling of space shuttle SRB aft ends for inherent aerodynamic bias determination
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The Air Force's 45th Space Wing is in charge of operating the Range Safety System (RSS) for all launches that take place on the Eastern Range. If initiated, the RSS currently implemented on the Space Transportation System after launch would provide for the partial destruction of the solid rocket boosters (SRBs) to terminate thrust. The majority of the risk from the large explosive debris created comes from the aft ends of the SRBs, which fall largely intact along with the remaining propellant. Historically, no impact data on such a scenario has been available and in support of the Space Shuttle Return-to-Flight schedule, aerodynamic and trajectory analyses were performed to characterize any pitch angle biases associated with the aft end's descent after initiating the linear shaped charges (LSCs) on the SRBs. Results show the aft end has a bias towards impacting at ±5, 70, or 175 degrees and takes an average of 10 seconds to stabilize into any one of these orientations after being separated from the SRB forward body.
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David R. González, Sean P. Stapf, Thomas J. Gebhard, "Modeling of space shuttle SRB aft ends for inherent aerodynamic bias determination", Proc. SPIE 6564, Modeling and Simulation for Military Operations II, 65640Q (10 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719718; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.719718

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