Author Topic: Application of the Life Safety Code to a Historic Test Stand  (Read 3475 times)

Offline rdale

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NASA has conducted a study to assess alternatives to refurbishing existing launch vehicle modal test facilities as opposed to developing new test facilities to meet the demands of a very fiscally constrained test and evaluation environment. The results of this study showed that Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Test Stand (TS) 4550 could be made compliant, within reasonable cost and schedule impacts, if safety processes and operational limitations were put in place to meet the safety codes and concerns of the Fire Marshall. Trades were performed with key selection criteria to ensure that appropriate levels of occupant safety are incorporated into test facility design modifications. In preparation for the ground vibration tests that were to be performed on the Ares I launch vehicle, the Ares Flight and Integrated Test Office (FITO) organization evaluated the available test facility options, which included the existing mothballed structural dynamic TS4550 used by Apollo and Shuttle, alternative ground vibration test facilities at other locations, and construction of a new dynamic test stand. After an exhaustive assessment of the alternatives, the results favored modifying the TS4550 because it was the lowest cost option and presented the least schedule risk to the NASA Constellation Program for Ares Integrated Vehicle Ground Vibration Test (IVGVT). As the renovation design plans and drawings were being developed for TS4550, a safety concern was discovered the original design for the construction of the test stand, originally built for the Apollo Program and renovated for the Shuttle Program, was completed before NASA s adoption of the currently imposed safety and building codes per National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code [NFPA 101] and International Building Codes. The initial FITO assessment of the design changes, required to make TS4550 compliant with current safety and building standards, identified a significant cost increase and schedule impact. An effort was launched to thoroughly evaluate the applicable life safety requirements, examine the context in which they were derived, and determine a means by which the TS4550 modifications could be made within budget and on schedule, while still providing the occupants with appropriate levels of safety.