DynoLAB™ data acquisition and control system
SAKOR Technologies
Okemos, MI

SAKOR Technologies has supplied a test system to Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) to be used to test the atmospheric flight control system for the Dream Chaser® spacecraft. Dream Chaser is a lifting-body, reusable, crewed or uncrewed vehicle. It is owned and operated by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), and is designed as a space utility vehicle for low-Earth orbit.

The Dream Chaser spacecraft. (NASA)
Dream Chaser can carry up to seven crewmembers and cargo, including the transportation of NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. It launches vertically and lands horizontally on a conventional runway.

The test system was built to exercise Dream Chaser’s new control system, and simulate flight from atmospheric interface to landing. The system characterizes overall design performance as well as dynamic response to physical forces typically experienced in standard and extreme flight conditions.

Three components of the DynoLAB data acquisition and control system.
The Dream Chaser spacecraft features seven control surfaces; the test system features seven dynamometers, each simulating dynamic loads on a specific control surface. The DynoLAB data acquisition and control system controls the entire test stand, acting as a spacecraft emulator. Sending test profiles to the atmospheric flight controller, as well as simulating force feedback from each control surface, DynoLAB communicates directly with the atmospheric flight control system via MIL-STD-1553B bus, which is a built-in capability of the DynoLAB system.

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