Load Cell Application in Rocket Thrust Measurement System
A load cell is an important component in measuring thrust generated by rocket in rocket technology research and development. It aims to test the rocket thrust in achieving the targeted objectives of the project. A load cell is a transducer that is used to convert a force into electrical signal and it usually consists of four strain gauges assembled in Wheatstone bridge configuration. The strain gauge converts the deformation (strain) to electrical signals. This conversion occurs in two stages. First, the strain gauges on the load cell will detect the deformation of load cell structure (tension or compression) and second, the strain gauge will convert the changes in the load cell in terms of voltage readings. Before the load cell can be used as the thrust sensor in rocket testing, it must undergo a calibration process to determine the relation between Load (kg) and Voltage (V). LabVIEW is used as a platform for data logging interface which is connected to the National Instrument hardware. National Instrument hardware acts as a signal conditioning which allow the voltage readings acquired by load cell to be collected and analyzed by LabVIEW. Each load cell has its own equation that links between force and voltage. The equation is used as a reference to convert the voltage reading to thrust.
R. Varatharajoo, E. J. Abdullah, D. L. Majid, F. I. Romli, A. S. Mohd Rafie and K. A. Ahmad
N. H. Abdullah et al., "Load Cell Application in Rocket Thrust Measurement System", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 225, pp. 437-441, 2012