CFDRC Scientist’s Team Received NASA Award

On July 28, 2011, CFDRC senior scientist, Dr. H. Q. Yang, received a NASA group achievement award on behalf of the “Ares I LOX Damper Team”. This is one of the highest awards the agency presents to individuals or teams to acknowledge the significant contributions to NASA’s goals and mission. The Ares I LOX damper team consists of multi-disciplinary experts in engineering, analysis, simulations, testing and evaluation. Within a period of eleven months, the team designed and developed a damping device using LOX in the vehicle upper stage tank to successfully solve Ares I’s greatest technical challenge, launch thrust oscillations. The citation reads “For outstanding technical excellence, creativity, and innovation in development and implementation of concepts mitigating Ares I thrust oscillation risk”.

The NASA group achievement award is given to either a group of government employees or a group comprised of both government and non-government personnel for an outstanding accomplishment through the coordination of many individual efforts which have contributed substantially to NASA's mission. Dr. Yang was the multi-physics analysis lead on the team. Dr. Yang’s contributions were pivotal in a) understanding the fundamental physics of the problem and identifying the key performance parameters, b) the model validation and design optimization efforts of the device and, c) transforming the LOX damper technology from concept to baseline design for the mitigation of thrust oscillations of the Ares I vehicle in a fairly short time. He has displayed exemplary technical skills that are recognized by everyone associated with the project.

Comments from customers

… Dr. Yang has significantly reduced the risks involved in scaling LO2 damper subscale test results to the flight system design – NASA MSFC Fluid Dynamics Branch Team Lead

… His problem solving skills, in‐depth technical knowledge and ability to communicate and educate other LOX damper team members and senior management is worthy of the highest praise. … the LOX damper team could not have succeeded without his significant contributions.— Ares I Integration Lead and LOX Damper Team lead.

.. If it were not for Dr. Yang, the thrust oscillation damper design would have been too immature to establish functional design specifications, engineering models of the damper concept, and vehicle performance impacts.—MPS Liquid System Design & Analysis Lead

… His contributions were some of the most significant in developing this new technology to a readiness level appropriate for incorporation into the baseline Ares I design—member, NASA MSFC Fluid Dynamic Branch.

…. I admired HQ’s “can do attitude”; In my view, HQ represents the best attributes, both personal and professional, that NASA needs to be successful. –member, NASA Vehicle Integration Team.

Presenting  award to Dr. Yang are: Bryan O’Connor, NASA Chief Safety and Mission Assurance (left) and Robert Lightfoot, Director of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (right).