Orbital ATK opens new ramjet clean air test facility in West Virginia

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Orbital ATK announced today that it has successfully completed the final validation and testing for its new clean air Ramjet Test Facility at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in Rocket Center, West Virginia, USA. This facility is one of few in the United States with a clear-air testing environment for flying trajectories on the stand with real-time, variable mass flow-rate and temperature. ABL is housed at the site owned by Naval Sea Systems Command, which committed funding to the new facility.

Orbital ATK’s Ramjet Test Facility accurately replicates the operational envelope of tactical air-breathing solid propulsion systems with air mass flow simulating up to Mach 4.5 and temperatures up to 1,500F [816C]. This facility provides real-world simulation with a clean-air environment free of combustion byproducts.

“This new facility is a national asset, providing the means to test next generation missile propulsion components,” said Pat Nolan, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Missile Products Division of the Defense Systems Group. “We have the ability to ‘fly a mission’ during test, which reduces costs associated with conducting multiple point tests.”

This new facility complements Orbital ATK’s already extensive scramjet test capabilities, highlighted by its Aerothermal Research and Test facility in Ronkonkoma, New York, specializing in advanced development and validation of hypersonic systems.

Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group is an industry leader in providing innovative and affordable precision and strike weapons, advanced propulsion and hypersonics, missile components across air-, sea- and land-based systems, ammunition and related energetic products. 

October 22, 2015

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Aerospace Testing International), one of the UK's fastest growing publishing companies, Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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