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Space Launch System Loads

For the SLS Loads project, DCI supports MSFC’s Dynamics, Loads and Strength Branch.  This support includes integrated vehicle loads analysis for:
  • Rollout: Rollout loads analysis determines vehicle loading associated with transportation from VAB to pad.  This analysis includes the crawler induced base motion and wind loads including vortex shedding.
  • Prelaunch: Prelaunch loads analysis determines vehicle loading while at the pad prior to launch.  The wind loads include static drag and lift forces from steady state wind and gusts, as well as dynamic lift forces due to vortex shedding.
  • Liftoff: The Liftoff loads analysis determines loads induced by engine and booster thrust, ignition over pressure (IOP), wind, autopilot control forces, and the twang release of the vehicle from the mobile launcher (ML).  The Liftoff analysis utilizes Monte Carlo analysis due to the random nature of many of the inputs.  The Liftoff analysis begins with engine ignition and continues up through tower clearance.
  • Ascent: The Ascent analysis determines loads due to aero-elastic loads, atmospheric turbulence, buffeting, maneuvering loads, and thrust oscillation.  The Ascent analysis begins at tower clearance in boost phase flight and continues through core stage flight.  The boost phase analysis incorporated axial static elastic loads (STEL), lateral STEL, lateral gust, buffet, roll maneuver (static and elastic), tailoff, thrust oscillation, and unplanned single engine-out analyses.  The total Ascent loads are determined using a statistical load combination equation.

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