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AF - SMC-S-016

TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR LAUNCH, UPPER-STAGE AND SPACE VEHICLES

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Organization: AF
Publication Date: 5 September 2014
Status: active
Page Count: 145
scope:

Purpose

This Standard establishes the environmental and structural ground testing requirements for launch vehicles, upper-stage vehicles, space vehicles, and their subsystems and units. In addition, a uniform set of definitions of related terms is established.

Application

This Standard is applicable to the procurement of space system hardware as a compliance document for the establishment of baseline test requirements. The test requirements herein focus on design verification and the elimination of latent defects to help ensure a high level of confidence in achieving successful space missions.

Baseline Requirements

This Standard establishes the qualification test strategy as the baseline test requirements. This strategy consists of testing dedicated hardware to qualification levels to verify design, followed by acceptance testing of flight hardware to screen workmanship defects.

Tailoring

It is intended that these test requirements be tailored to each specific program after considering the design complexity, design margins, vulnerabilities, technology state of the art, in-process controls, mission criticality, life cycle cost, number of vehicles involved, prior usage, and acceptable risk. However, the tailored requirements shall achieve a level of verification equivalent to the baseline requirements described herein. Rationale for each tailored requirement shall be established. If the baseline qualification requirements in this Standard are not tailored by the contract, they stand as written.

Test Categories

The tests discussed herein are categorized and defined as follows:

a. Development tests. Tests conducted on representative articles to characterize engineering parameters, gather data and validate the design approach.

b. Qualification tests. Tests conducted to demonstrate satisfaction of design requirements including margin and product robustness for designs that have no demonstrated history. A full qualification validates the planned acceptance program, in-process stress screens, and retest environmental stresses resulting from failure and rework. Qualification hardware that is selected for use as flight hardware shall be evaluated and refurbished as necessary to show that the integrity of the hardware is preserved and that adequate margin remains to survive the rigors of launch and provide useful life on orbit.

c. Protoqualification tests. Tests conducted to demonstrate satisfaction of design requirements using reduced amplitude and duration margins. This type of test is generally selected for designs that have limited production where test units will be used for flight. The test program is supplemented with analyses as well as development and other tests to demonstrate margin and life. Protoqualification tests shall validate the planned acceptance program.

d. Acceptance tests. Vehicle, subsystem, and unit tests conducted to demonstrate that flight hardware is free of workmanship defects, meets specified performance requirements, and is acceptable for delivery.

e. Prelaunch validation tests. Prelaunch validation tests are conducted at the launch base to assure readiness of the hardware, software, personnel procedures, and mission interfaces to support launch and the program mission.

f. Post launch validation tests. Tests performed following launch to verify specification performance, interface compatibility, calibration, and the ability to meet mission requirements.

Exclusions, or Additional Environments

Environments other than those specified in this Standard can be sufficiently stressful as to warrant special analysis and testing. These include environments such as nuclear and electromagnetic radiation, natural space environment, and lightning.

Document History

SMC-S-016
September 5, 2014
TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR LAUNCH, UPPER-STAGE AND SPACE VEHICLES
Purpose This Standard establishes the environmental and structural ground testing requirements for launch vehicles, upper-stage vehicles, space vehicles, and their subsystems and units. In addition,...

References

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