Press Release

ULA Completes CCDev Emergency Detection System Abort Demonstration

By SpaceRef Editor
February 8, 2011
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Details to be Presented at Upcoming Space Transportation Conference

Denver, Colo. (Feb. 8, 2011) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) completed the most significant portion of the final milestone for its Commercial Crew Development Emergency Detection System (EDS) project last month, demonstrating the EDS test bed in ULA’s Denver Launch Support Center using the high fidelity Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL).

During testing last year, several abort simulation runs were successfully generated that illustrate the EDS abort detection capability for a wide range of anomalous launch vehicle conditions, both slow and quick to evolve into a catastrophic event. As soon as EDS detected the anomalous condition, the launch vehicle issued a command to the spacecraft to separate and initiate the abort escape sequence. As part of the demonstration, launch vehicle and spacecraft were animated using a high fidelity simulation tool to provide a visualization of the abort sequence once it had been initiated. Various combinations of the launch vehicle and winged and capsule type spacecraft were used during the simulated abort sequence.

Approximately 50 representatives from the spacecraft and NASA community attended including NASA crew members and MOD support.

Other accomplishments achieved to-date for the CCDev EDS Development and Demonstration activities include:

* successfully completed milestones 1, 2 and 3 on schedule, encompassing the kick off, requirements review and a conceptual design review for the EDS architecture and abort demonstration task;
* completed reconfiguration of the SIL test bed with a prototype EDS flight processor ahead of schedule and with significantly less modifications than anticipated;
* added enhanced capabilities to the SIL hardware configuration abort demo, allowing crew intervention using the abort inhibit and manual abort options;
* developed and demonstrated crew display technology during an actual launch (AV-019) with NASA flight and ground controller crew members;
* completed the development and testing of the fault detection algorithms that were selected to demonstrate the selected abort scenario cases ahead of schedule;
* initiated SC interface requirements development with several SC contractor on CCDev and others interested in using Atlas as well; and
* performed a significant amount of fault coverage assessment for both Atlas and Delta configurations.

ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly, and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA Web site at, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).

SpaceRef staff editor.