Thursday, April 2, 2009

Silly roadies and DTS

On Tuesday my intention was to do the weekly World Championships. This week the "race" was to be held on a crit course on the other side of town. Normally the drive wouldnt have been that big of deal to get in a good workout but this week I was a bit pressed for time. Rewind a bit to Tuesday morning. When I woke up I was greeted with hail, lightning, and thunder. Unfortunately this meant swimming wasnt going to happen so I proceeded right into work in order to be able to leave early. I was pleased to make it in the office before 6 but was still going to be on a tight schedule to get in a swim after work but before the ride.

I got out of the office around 3, headed to the pool, and was in the water by 3:45. However, since the kids had practice I had to take the gutter lane but still knocked out a solid 5200. Out of the water at 5 after 5, it was time for a quick change before heading off to meet the roadies. After racing across town I thought I had arrived 5min early but to my dismay, no one was there. I waited about 10 minutes... not a person in sight.

Bummed out and figuring they had bailed due to the questionable weather, I headed home. I ended up finally getting out on the road around 6 and decided it was time to get some use out of my lights. With motivation lagging after the missed race, I headed over the Aresenal to still try and get in a decent workout. I ended up getting in a few hard efforts before riding into the night. (I should mention that the Aresnal is more or less dead after about 6:30 so riding at dusk or even in the dark is actually relatively safe.)

As it turned out, some people did show up to the TNWC but at 5:45 rather than 5:30. Apparently I cant read my email...

Meanwhile, on a totally unrelated topic, at work I went out to the Dynamic Test Stand today to get a water sample. This test stand was used for the Saturn V, modified for the Shuttle, and now will be modified again for Ares I. Its purpose is to test a vehicle's response to vibrations... basically, this is a test on a flight like piece of hardware to make sure the rocket doesnt shake itself apart on ascent.

In order for this test to be sufficiently thorough, the rocket has to be tested in a number of configurations for various amounts of time, around 2-6 months per configuration. Add these up, and this test article is exposed to the environment for much longer than any flight vehicle will be. For this reason, it is imperative that a more robust corrosion protection be employed, which is where I come into play.

Our organization has been tasked by the test folks to protect the Ares I test article from corrosion. This means I get to do some testing and then lay out a plan to detail how this will be protected. In addition to having to protect the outside from the environment, the inside of the mock liquid oxygen tank will have to be protected from the water which will be placed in it to simulate the weight of the LOX. Thus, my trip to the test stand to get a sludge, er, "water" sample of the solution that will be used during testing.

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