It has been a big week here for Sherpa! After completing vibration qualification testing at NTS’s Santa Clarita facility, Sherpa-FX is now a qualified vehicle. This test campaign took the vehicle to vibration levels beyond what it would experience in a launch environment. It qualifies the Sherpa-FX design, giving Spaceflight, our customers, and launch vehicle providers more confidence in all FX variants going forward.
To complete this testing the engineering team designed and built a Sherpa configuration with a combination of Spaceflight adapters, generic mass models, and customer mass models that all-together represent a typical FX flight configuration. From there we shipped the hardware down to California where it was off loaded and mounted to the vibration test fixture seen in the picture. Once the structure was on the table it was instrumented with a series of accelerometers and put through different vibration profiles to simulate the components of a launch environment.
After testing, we confirm all target inputs were achieved and verify that the hardware did not sustain any damage through visual inspection and data review. At that point, the hardware is qualified! Huzzah!
Think Sherpa is neat? We do too and so does Via Satellite, who have nominated it for Satellite Technology of the Year. Vote for it here!