Sensors Used For Hot Fire Testing of Rocket Engines
Rocket engines and their components are tested to validate models and reduce mission risks. The quality of the data collected largely depends on the types of signal conditioning and sensors used in the process. Since the 1960's, Stennis Space Center (SSC) has been NASA's leading center for testing Rocket Stages, Rocket engines and rocket engine components. Throughout this time, SSC has developed best practices on how to deal with sensor shortcomings and increase their reliability. This paper explains the operation of the most common sensors used, their pros and cons, and their uncertainties. Additionally, it covers the in-place calibration of the facility propellant flowmeters which cannot be removed and sent to be calibrated at a lab on a regular basis.