December 11, 1963: AEDC J-4 Rocket Engine Test Cell

  • Published
  • AEDC

The  J-4  Propulsion  Engine  Test  Cell, a  vertical  rocket altitude  cell; and the J-5 test  cell, a  solid rocket cell were  officially accepted  by  the  Air  Force  from the  Corps of  Engineers and  turned  over  to  ARO, Inc. for  management, operation, and maintenance.

The Propulsion Combined Test Force at AEDC is responsible for propulsion testing in the Engine Test Facility (ETF) test cells, which are used for development and evaluation testing of turbine-based propulsion systems for advanced aircraft. These test cells provide essential test and evaluation services in support of DoD, U.S. industry, and international programs. AEDC operates 11 active test cells for atmospheric inlet and altitude testing. These AEDC test cells are used for testing and evaluation in areas including performance, operability, aeromechanical, icing, corrosion, inlet pressure distortion, inlet temperature distortion, accelerated mission testing (AMT), engine-inlet dynamics, mission simulations, and engine component testing. Test cells are available in a range of sizes to meet customer needs.

An estimate of the major simulation requirements for high-altitude tests of rocket engines and rocket engine systems is presented. The facilities required to provide the parameters desired are examined in terms of simulation capability, exhaust handling requirements, and some of the requirements for test cell and specialized installation and instrumentation equipment . Presentation includes environment required for hybrid rocket systems as well as conventional engines. Selected high-altitude tests of rocket engines and spacecraft and spacecraft and missile subsystems which have been conducted in recent months at the Arnold Center are described. A forecast of future test requirements is also included.

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