National Nuclear Security Administration

Kansas City National Security Campus launches rocket-based research campaign

January 3, 2019

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Researchers at the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) ready a rocket for launch. Test engineers have begun to use research rockets to develop the technical knowledge required to improve weapon
Researchers at the Kansas City National Security Campus ready a rocket for launch.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that increasing efficiency drives down costs.

Test engineers at the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) have begun to use research rockets to develop the technical knowledge required to improve weapon system technology as fast and as cost effectively as possible. The program is called RASR – Research And Sounding Rockets.

“The rocket environment provides a multi-axis vibration and we hope to utilize that difference in environment to predict or discover new things about these emerging technologies that we can’t get on the ground,” said RASR Systems Engineer David Lartonoix.

Aside from offering multiple variables to learn from all at once, this type of experimentation can also find the “unknown unknown” that usually cannot be found by any other means.

The 2018 inaugural launches were the first of many that will drive the development of experimental data used to validate simulation codes and new technology and will work to change the time frame within which we work today.

The initial payload was flown to validate a 3D-printed metal simulation code and also to determine the environmental parameters of the rocket flight. The process takes advantage of the current rocket test programs at partnering universities, leveraging their expertise and allowing KCNSC to fly payloads at significantly reduced costs.

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