Force measurements for tow tank testing
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This thesis outlines the development of a force measurement system for Texas Tech's Department of Mechanical Engineering tow tank. The system is based on a resistance strain gage balance which measures lift, drag, and pitching moment on a model. Balance calibration and interaction equations were used to ensure accurate response from the balance's comparatively simple structure. Data acquisition and control of the tow tank's carnage were integrated into a single personal computer. This allowed high sampling rates and accurate timing of events, which was important to develop a system which was capable of measuring transient loads on a model. Also discussed is a computationally efficient method of digital signal processing which i~ capable of remm ing the large noise amplitudes present in the measured data. Two brief model studies were performed to verify the accuracy of th~ system and its ability to measure changing loads. A model wing based on the B 1 bomber planform was tested under various steady and unsteady conditions. A model parachute was studied to determine the dependence of drag on acceleration.