Test & Measurement

Program Calculates Forces in Bolted Structural Joints

A FORTRAN 77 computer program calculates forces in bolts in the joints of structures. This program is used in conjunction with the NASTRAN finite-element structural-analysis program. A mathematical model of a structure is first created by approximating its load-bearing members with representative finite elements, then NASTRAN calculates the forces and moments that each finite element contributes to grid points located throughout the structure. The user selects the finite elements that correspond to structural members that contribute loads to the joints of interest, and identifies the grid point nearest to each such joint. This program reads the pertinent NASTRAN output, combines the forces and moments from the contributing elements to determine the resultant force and moment acting at each proximate grid point, then transforms the forces and moments from these grid points to the centroids of the affected joints. Then the program uses these joint loads to obtain the axial and shear forces in the individual bolts. The program identifies which bolts bear the greatest axial and/or shear loads. The program also performs a “fail-safe” analysis in which the foregoing calculations are repeated for a sequence of cases in which each fastener, in turn, is assumed not to transmit an axial force.

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Rayleigh Scattering for Measuring Flow in a Nozzle Testing Facility

The facility can test nozzles up to 8.75-in. (22.2-cm) in diameter. A molecular Rayleigh scattering based air density measurement system was built in a large nozzle and engine component test facility for surveying supersonic plumes from jet-engine exhaust. The facility (see Figure 1) can test nozzles up to 8.75 in. (22.2-cm) in diameter. It is enclosed in a 7.5-ft (2.3- m) diameter tank where ambient pressure is adjusted to simulate engine operation up to an altitude of 48,000 ft (14,630 m). The measurement technique depends on the light scattering by gas molecules present in the air; no artificial seeding is required. Commercially available particle-based techniques, such as laser Doppler velocimetry and particle image velocimetry, were avoided for such reasons as requirement of extremely large volume of seed particles; undesirable coating of every flow passages, model, and test windows with seed particles; and measurement errors from seed particles not following the flow. The molecular Rayleigh-scattering-based technique avoids all of these problems; however, a different set of obstacles associated with cleaning of dust particles, avoidance of stray light, and protection of the optical components from the facility vibration need to be addressed

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Interferometer for Low Uncertainty Vector Metrology

Accuracy is increased; time and cost are reduced. The figure is a simplified schematic diagram of a tilt-sensing unequal-path interferometer set up to measure the orientation of the normal vector of one surface of a cube mounted on a structure under test. This interferometer has been named a “theoferometer” to express both its interferometric nature and the intention to use it instead of an autocollimating theodolite.

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