Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

The Motion Base Shuttle Mission Simulator (MBSMS) Strain System is an innovative engineering tool used to monitor the stresses applied to the MBSMS motion platform tilt pivot frames during motion simulations in real time. The Strain System comprises hardware and software produced by several different companies. The system utilizes a series of strain gages, accelerometers, orientation sensor, rotational meter, scanners, computer, and software packages working in unison. By monitoring and recording the inputs applied to the simulator, data can be analyzed if weld cracks or other problems are found during routine simulator inspections. This will help engineers diagnose problems as well as aid in repair solutions for both current as well as potential problems.

The system is located with a line-of-sight to the Motion Base for real-time on-site monitoring. In addition to local monitoring, several off-site engineering computers are loaded with software allowing the user to remotely log onto the Strain System computer, monitor the system, and adjust the software settings as required. Additional commercial software products have been programmed to automate the Strain System software. This removes the typical daily manual interaction required by the system to boot, record, stop, and save the resultant motion data for future analysis.

This work was done by David C Huber, Karl G. Van Vossen, Glenn W. Kunkel, and Larry W. Wells of United Space Alliance for Johnson Space Center. MSC 24386-1

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