My Favorite Flight Anomaly

The flight accelerometer data was measured on a launch vehicle which shall remain anonymous.  This was due to an oscillating thrust vector control (TVC) system during the burn-out of a solid rocket motor.  This created a “tail wags dog” effect.  The resulting vibration occurred throughout much of the vehicle.

The oscillation frequency was 12.5 Hz with a harmonic at 37.5 Hz.

The mission was nevertheless successful, but perhaps barely so.

I discovered the anomaly and alerted the guidance and control engineers who remained skeptical but who finally admitted the problem.

Further information is given at: Vibrationdata Rocket Page

– Tom Irvine

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