Author Topic: Launch Monitoring Strategies: Hazardous Gas Monitoring  (Read 783 times)

Offline rdale

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Sort of timely with GUCP in the news this mission!


With over 500,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, it is of vital importance to monitor the space shuttle vehicle (SSV) from external tank (ET) load through launch. The Hazardous Gas Detection System (HGDS) was installed as the primary system responsible for monitoring fuel leaks within the orbiter and ET. The HGDS was designed to obtain the lowest possible detection limits with the best resolution while monitoring the SSV for any hydrogen, helium, oxygen, or argon as the main requirement. The HGDS is a redundant mass spectrometer used for real-time monitoring during Power Reactant Storage and Distribution (PRSD) load and ET load through launch or scrub. This system also performs SSV processing leak checks of the Tail Service Mast (TSM) umbilical quick disconnects (QD's), Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate (GUCP) QD's and supports auxiliary power unit (APU) system tests. From design to initial implementation and operations, the HGDS has evolved into a mature and reliable launch support system. This paper will discuss the operational challenges and lessons learned from facing design deficiencies, validation and maintenance efforts, life cycle issues, and evolving requirements