Extreme conditions: Force transducers for space travel

In space, temperatures, pressures and forces are different from those in the environments we are familiar with. Which means that measurement technology ?up there? is subjected to specific stresses. WIKA has now developed, tested and supplied special force transducers for space travel. They are customer-specific load pins that have now proven themselves on a flight into space.
Space travel has long been commercialised, and concepts for space tourism are taking shape. In the development departments of the area industry, plans are maturing for new generations of launch vehicles and other transporters for multiple, and therefore resource-saving, missions. To create passengers, crew and vehicles safely back again to earth, sophisticated technology, reliable atlanta divorce attorneys situation, is indispensable.
A central role is played by the flight control system, which ensures the correct orientation of the spacecraft for safe missions into space and back. Load pins are critical components because of this. They must measure exactly the forces functioning on the flight control surfaces of the spacecraft. Conventional load pins aren’t up to this task ? the criteria for spacecraft force transducers are too demanding for them.
Requirements for force transducers in space travel
In the search for load pins suitable for space, an aerospace company had initially enquired with another manufacturer. But this supplier had not been able to meet the extraordinary requirements. The load pins would have to:
function reliably at extremely cold temperatures (down to -65 �C)
withstand very high loads and become fatigue-proof
have very compact dimensions (the diameter of the measuring bore was just 8 mm)
A long time of experience with load pins and miniaturisation
WIKA is rolling out and built this version of a load pin for a space mission.
In the end, the drawings, technical data and test requirements finished up at WIKA. Because of their many years of experience, both with load pins and also in instrument miniaturisation, WIKA?s force measurement experts succeeded in developing and manufacturing exactly the products that the customer had wanted.
But that has been only the initial challenge. The second was to subject the load pins to a variety of tests to assure, with absolute certainty, that they would function correctly in space. However, the testing facilities necessary for this were not available, neither internally nor externally. Just how could the extreme operating conditions of the sensors be simulated?
Special test equipment for the space-travel force transducers
There was only one answer: WIKA had to create and build its own special test facility with a heating chamber and an adjustment and calibration machine. It had in order to:
apply an alternating load of 23,860 kg every seven seconds
maintain an internal temperature of -65 �C
This new equipment ultimately provided proof that the load pins maintained the required measuring quality, even after 100,000 test cycles at the required low temperature. This was then also demonstrated in the application form: The control surfaces of the spacecraft functioned perfectly and enabled a safe flight into space and back.
Measuring solutions for aviation too
Along with space flight, WIKA also serves the aviation industry with specific measurement solutions. One example of this is the development of a force transducer within the European ?Clean Sky? Truth , which aims to reduce emissions from aircraft. WIKA also supplies DirectDrive pressure gauges for oxygen systems and pressure transducers for ice detection in jet engines.
Note
More info on load pins along with other force measurement technology for extreme conditions, for instance ring force transducers and strain transducers, can be found on the WIKA website. Also you can download a brochure with a compact summary of WIKA?s force measurement technology. If you have any questions, your contact will gladly assist you to.
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