OREANDA-NEWS. July 13, 2010. Over several recent years, Russia has been creating a new launch vehicle named ‘Angara’.  Bench testing is a mandatory phase of this project.  Within the framework of the Angara development efforts, bench tests are carried out at the IS 102 test rig.  This largest European test facility is run by the Space-Industry Research-and-Test Center (NITs RKP), a Federal Governmental Enterprise (Peresvet, Moscow Region), reported the press-centre of Khrunichev.

The URM 1 common core booster, a module of the Angara launch vehicle, passed successfully the complete sequence of bench tests at IS 102 in 2009.

Following certain preparatory work, ‘cold’ bench tests of the URM 2 common core booster were launched at the same test facility.  The first set of tests was carried out successfully on 17 June 2010.

The second run of cold bench tests (known as ‘hydrostatic flow tests’) was then carried out to verify, on a system level, the performance of the URM 2 pneumatic-and-hydraulic propellant supply system under bench-test conditions.  The test procedure envisaged three short-time drains and one complete drainage of the fuel (naphthyl) as well as of the oxidizer (liquid oxygen – LOX).  The goal of this test phase was to ensure reliability and safety of the subsequent cold test sequence using both propellants.

Also, the design parameters of the temperature control system and of the fire safety system were verified experimentally, and the effectiveness of thermal control under bench test conditions was assessed of a dry URM 2 and the URM 2 booster loaded with propellants.

In the course of these tests, the design of the onboard fuel pressurizing/draining systems was finalized and the temporal characteristics of the pneumatic-and-hydraulic propellant supply system were verified.  (These characteristics were adopted as the baseline for the development of operating timelines and computational procedures.)  The ability of these systems to cope with abnormal situations was verified by simulating such events.  The nominal processes were fine-tuned of loading/draining naphthyl, loading pressurizers, and processing the propulsion unit for launch. 

The NITs RKP staff have demonstrated a highly efficient organization, preparation and execution of work, have ensured a safe test process, and have rapidly processed the measured data.

After the data obtained has been analyzed, another run of system-level cold tests will be carried out of a fully loaded URM 2 module.  The results of the earlier tests will be taken into account in the new test run.

Ground fire tests of URM 2 are scheduled for the third quarter of 2010.