Moog Aerospace test solution to support Korean Aerospace Research Institute helicopter programme
Moog’s Industrial Group, a division of Moog Inc., has delivered an aerospace test rig to the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) that will perform a wide range of structural and fatigue tests for helicopters. This system is part of a multi-billion dollar procurement project by the South Korean Ministry of National Defense to develop and build 245 utility helicopters over a 16-year period.
Moog’s previous experience with similar test rig installations, knowledge of helicopter test techniques and on-the-ground technical support from its Korean engineering team were key reasons for KARI’s selection of Moog for this project. That system, which was installed in just three days in 2008, now runs full-scale structural tests and has potential for 12 independent helicopter tests.
Key deliverables of this highly customized test rig installation include:
- Six cabinets with 16 control channels each
- A 256-channel HBM Data Acquisition System
- New software functionality that allows Real-Time Ethernet-based data transfer between the command generator (Real-Time Front End) and the localized control loops
- A dedicated Ethernet interface for the transfer of the load cell, position and spectrum data from the Moog Test Controller to the CatMan data acquisition unit and activation of commands (e.g. Take Snapshot) from the Test Controller System to the Cat-Man System.
The technically-challenging requirements brief sent to Moog specified the need for a vendor to build the hydraulic system, actuator and data acquisition system to carry out static structural tests and fatigue tests for the helicopter rotor system. The hydraulic system was installed in the Rotary Wing Aircraft Laboratory to supply the flow used in the hydraulic actuator for repetitive loading during the fatigue test.
The KARI test rig needed to create and measure forces to simulate and test real-time durability and life of helicopter components— especially fatigue tests on the rotor, hub and blades. Furthermore, it needed to integrate seamlessly with KARI’s existing data acquisition systems and hydraulic control equipment in their new test labs.
“The KARI project was very specific in its requirements and presented us with a really exciting technical challenge. Our engineering team and our depth of experience in aero test rigs and helicopter testing were crucial to the success of this program and we are delighted with the end-result,” said Tom Pierce, Business Development Director for test systems. “The new aero test system gives KARI a multitude of benefits ranging from cost efficient operation, virtually unlimited flexibility and total access to local Moog expertise and ongoing system support.”
The KARI Load Control System can perform 12 different tests independently with up to eight-channel control stations or one full-scale test. In both cases, up to 96 channels can be used. The load control system has been set up to communicate seamlessly with two different data acquisition external systems (i.e., HBM and VTI) giving KARI the flexibility they require to handle their wide range of tests.
The system also delivers faster, more efficient analysis and comparison of tests. Because the two systems are connected via Ethernet, KARI can directly cross-check data from the Load Control System and Data Acquisition System through time stamps. This allows all data to be stored and archived on a hard disk for post-test analyses.
Currently, KARI’s test program runs eight distinct and independent component tests simultaneously. Moog’s test rig also needed to allow for future upgrading in line with KARI’s plans to develop new facilities to run more ambitious test plans as the helicopter build program expands
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