Vibro-Acoustic Test Capability

  • Client: NASA / SAIC
  • Project Duration: 33 months
  • Project Contract Value: $19.5 Million (USD)
  • Size: 10,000 square feet
  • Project Man Hours: 50,000+
  • Scope: Over 4,500 cubic yards of concrete installed
  • Awards: National Design-Build Award from Design Build Institute of America
  • Services Performed:

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Laying the foundation for future exploration.

In 2007, NASA began the process of renovating Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook Station in order to test their new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle in all of the challenging environments the spacecraft might encounter during spaceflight.

NASA contracted with SAIC (formerly Benham Constructors) to oversee this complicated, high-tech renovation which included three areas of work: a common area, the Reverberant Acoustic Test Facility (RATF) and the Mechanical Vibration Facility (MVF). SAIC brought CCC on-board as a key subcontractor to handle all of the specialty concrete work.

Putting our capabilities to the test.

The RATF was the largest of the rooms: a 3,000 sq. ft. test chamber with 60-foot, 24” thick concrete walls and a 24” thick concrete ceiling. The RATF also has a 28’x60’-high rolling concrete-filled door and a 12’5”x60’-high-swinging concrete-filled door. For this single room, CCC laid more than 2,900 cubic yards of concrete. We also installed 36 acoustic horns (ranging from 25hz to 250hz) that simulate the high noise levels Orion will experience during a launch.

Unshakeable under pressure.

For the MVF, CCC constructed a 50’x57’ mass shaker foundation that consisted of more than 1,500 cubic yards of concrete. This foundation was created for the vibration test stand. It was built to support the 75,000 lb. Orion as it gets shaken with an intensity level equal to that of launch. Because the total weight of the craft and table was in excess of 125,000 pounds, we also installed 106 rock anchors to secure the concrete mass to the existing shale, and 4 horizontal and 16 vertical actuators.

For the common area, CCC installed 1,800 sq. ft. of mechanical building foundations and slabs, storage tank foundations, and a new drive, approach and storage area.