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LMS Test.Lab enables S.A.B.C.A. to cut time in half for qualification tests of complex Thrust Vector Control sub-systems (TVC).

LMS, the engineering innovation company, announced today that S.A.B.C.A. implemented LMS Test.Lab in developing components and assemblies for a wide range of aircraft and space projects, including those for the ESA's new launcher VEGA.  Based in Brussels, Belgium, S.A.B.C.A. has been active for decades designing, testing and manufacturing parts and systems for major aircraft and spacecraft, including the Ariane 5 and several Airbus aircraft.

S.A.B.C.A. is utilizing the LMS Test.Lab Environmental software to perform "shake and bake" qualification testing with sine profiles, shock and random inputs in a vibration range of 1 to 22 Gs, from 5 to 2000Hz. These tests have to ensure that prototype assemblies can operate properly under the severe vibration environment of rocket lift off and in-flight conditions.  Data acquisition is handled by LMS SCADAS III front-end units, each with a capacity of 24 input channels.  The system is highly scalable, enabling S.A.B.C.A. to readily add channels and interconnect multiple LMS SCADAS units to further increase the channel count of their system.

According to S.A.B.C.A. engineering, channel count is critical for acquiring the large amount of measurement data generated through the testing campaigns. S.A.B.C.A. requires a particularly high level of accuracy in qualifying their new mechatronics systems containing complex electronic control systems and intricate parts made of lightweight materials. Some of the latest innovations under development at the S.A.B.C.A. Mechatronics department are the thrust vector control systems (TVC) constituted of electromechanical actuators, integrated power drive control electronics, sets of lithium ion batteries and cable harnesses. These TVCs will be used on the new European VEGA launcher instead of the more expensive and heavier hydraulic system used for previous TVCs.

These actuators control the positioning of the launcher nozzles and are therefore critical to the trajectory of the vehicle and success of the space mission. The new TVC designs use lightweight materials and contain state-of-the-art control electronics, including a proprietary HBRISC2 processor designed and ESA qualified by S.A.B.C.A. for demanding aerospace applications.  Because this new TVC design relies heavily on electronic circuitry, tests entail a much more refined vibration control for three axes simultaneously, requiring considerably more channels than was previously available on the former system.

LMS Test.Lab Environmental was selected for the high channel count, the scalability of the system and the ability of refined vibration control needed for this advanced testing.  Controlling vibrations at 22Gs of complex 100kg mechanisms with moving elements is not feasible with any kind of controller. In addition these vibrations use complex multi-channel control accelerometers combined with several types of estimators. The LMS system enables to monitor results on-line in real time so S.A.B.C.A.  engineers can confirm the validity of data as tests are being run and also remotely shut down the system in case of emergency without destroying the test specimen.

Another major selection factor was the data management and reporting capabilities of the system in accommodating the large amounts of test results generated.  The Active Pictures feature in LMS Test.Lab is especially helpful in allowing S.A.B.C.A. engineers to view and manipulate live test data in an office environment.

Having these powerful capabilities in a single integrated solution allows S.A.B.C.A. engineers to set up tests, take accurate measurements, interpret data and report results much more quickly than was possible with their previous system.  The productivity gain is significant, with the time from start to finish typically condensed by half with LMS Test.Lab.

S.A.B.C.A. confirmed that the LMS technical support team was particularly responsive in providing guidance and information for achieving this level of improved efficiency.  LMS support personnel are valued as high-caliber professionals with the know-how needed to get answers to the questions very quickly. According to S.A.B.C.A., LMS has gone far beyond selling a test system throughout the implementation. LMS has been an active partner in applying advanced technology to its full potential in strengthening the leadership position of S.A.B.C.A. in the highly competitive aerospace market.

Press release issued by Siemens Industry Software NV on February 22, 2007

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Siemens Industry Software NV CIM Systems, Computer-aided Testing, Computer-aided Simulation, Data Acquisition Systems, Vibration Analysers
SABCA Empennages, Aircraft Structural Components, Hydraulic Systems & Equipment, Design Services, Fairings, Servoactuators, Valves, Wing Flaps, Aircraft Control Surfaces, Fuselage Sections

 

 Related directory sectors:
Design Software
Computer-Aided Testing
Airframe Assemblies

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