|Dryden Home > Collections > Movie Home > Pegasus > Movie # EM-0083-01|
PHYSX undergoing thermal tests
|Formats||160x120 15-fps QuickTime Movie (2,732 KBytes)
320x240 30-fps QuickTime Movie (3,292 KBytes)
320x240 30-fps MPEG-1 Movie (4,061 KBytes)
|Still photos of this test are available in several resolutions at
Two Pegasus® Hypersonic Experiment (PHYSX) gloves were manufactured for the program - one that flew aboard the Pegasus booster rocket and one earmarked for thermal ground tests. Both gloves were made of nickel-plated steel.
The experiment, which flew successfully on October 22, 1998, consisted of a smooth, information-gathering "glove" installed on the first-stage wing of the Pegasus Space Launch Vehicle, which reaches speeds of Mach 8 and altitudes of 200,000 feet. Instrumentation on the glove gathered more than 90 seconds of hypersonic temperature, pressure, and airflow data after the Pegasus booster was launched from an Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Virginia, L-1011 aircraft. The glove was bonded to the right wing and wrapped from the underside of wing, over the leading edge and onto the upperside, although it did not cover the wing completely.
The experiment gathered information about how the air flows over the Pegasus wing. Scientists are particularly interested in the transition of air from smooth (laminar) to turbulent flow. The goal of the experiment was to discover when the airflow over the wing becomes turbulent and why.
The ground-test glove was mounted on a plywood and fiberglass structure for a series of ground tests that concluded May 30, 1996. The glove was painted a flat black to maximize heat absorption. During the tests, engineers precooled the glove and heated it in the NASA Dryden Flight Loads Laboratory, simulating the heat the glove would experience during its first-stage flight profile. The tests revealed that the glove was hardy enough to survive the intense heat it would experience while traveling at eight times the speed of sound.
The Number 2 PHYSX wing glove is shown in this 29-second clip being taken to extreme high temperature in the Flight Loads Laboratory thermal test structure at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California.
|Keywords||PHYSX; Pegasus Hypersonic Experiment; Pegasus booster; Mach 8; glove; laminar flow; Flight Loads Laboratory; Dryden Flight Research Center; Edwards; Calif.|