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This page provides the following list of papers related to balance technologies. Please contact us if you would like to add a paper to this list.

AIAA Recommended Practice for Calibration and Use of Internal Strain-Gage Balances with Application to Wind Tunnel Testing (R-091-2003e)

This document provides a recommended method for calibration of internal strain-gage balances used in wind tunnel testing. The practices include terminology, axis system definition, balance calibration methods, matrix, and documentation. Use of this document will facilitate the exchange of information
among users, suppliers, and other interested parties. List Price: $42.95

Papers presented at AIAA Events

  • Development of a New Flow-Through Force Measurement Balance with Improved Accuracy
    for use in Powered Wind Tunnel Model Testing
    Andrew C. Roberts, NASA Ames Research Center, CA; Kenneth M. Smith, Microcraft Inc, Tullahoma, TN
    AIAA 88-2059, May 1988

  • A Single-Vector Force Calibration Method Featuring the Modern Design of Experiments (Invited)
    P.A. Parker, M. Morton, N. Draper, W. Line, NASA Langley Research Center, VA
    AIAA 2001-0170, January 2001

  • Strain-Gage Balance Calibration Analysis Using Automatically Selected Math Models
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Sverdrup Technology, Inc., NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2005-4084, July 2005

  • Application Of A New Calibration Analysis Process To The MK-III-C Balance
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Sverdrup Technology, Inc., NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2006-0517, January 2006

  • Development of a New Software Tool for Balance Calibration Analysis
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Sverdrup Technology, Inc., NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2006-3434, May 2006

  • Analysis of Floor Balance Calibration Data Using Automatically Generated Math Models
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Sverdrup Technology, Inc., NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2006-3437, May 2006

  • Analysis of Balance Calibration Machine Data Using Automatically Generated Math Models
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Jacobs Technology Inc., Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2007-0145, January 2007

  • A Comparison of Two Balance Calibration Model Building Methods
    Richard DeLoach, NASA Langley Research Center, VA; N. Ulbrich, Jacobs Technology Inc., Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2007-0147, January 2007

  • Load Envelope Analysis of Strain-Gage Balance Data
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Jacobs Technology Inc., Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2007-0354, January 2007

  • Regression Analysis of Experimental Data Using an Improved Math Model Search Algorithm
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Jacobs Technology Inc., Moffett Field, CA
    AIAA 2008-833, January 2008

  • Predictive Capabilities of Regression Models used for Strain-Gage Balance Calibration Analysis
    N. Ulbrich and T. Volden, Jacobs Technology Inc., Moffett Field, CA
    D. Booth, Triumph Aerospace, Force Measurement Systems, San Diego, CA
    AIAA-2008-4028, June 2008

Ames' Automatic Balance Calibration Machine

by Chris Lockwood
(January 2000 issue of FO Division Outlook newsletter)

Modifications to the Ames' Balance Calibration Machine have recently been completed, making Ames one of only two facilities in the country with a fully automated balance calibration machine. The machine now has the capability to automatically simulate any 6-component load combination expected during a wind tunnel test. A load schedule in spreadsheet form, containing any number of these load combinations, can be entered into the machine's data system. Each load condition will then be sequentially generated, and the balance data acquired. Additionally, a recent improvement in reduction of balance data means that unlike previous reduction methods, that required very specific load combinations and sequences, we can now easily use any, and all, combination loads to characterize a balance for a wind tunnel test.

This automation of the machine has significantly improved productivity. Load conditions are generated much faster than before by feeding back machine load cell data to it's control system. Calibration data is now acquired, from installation to removal, in approximately two shifts (16-hours). Facilities with manual calibration techniques often take more than two weeks to complete the same calibration. This improved productivity certainly makes post-test calibration or check-loading much more feasible. With balance feedback, it is even likely that a test, or a portion of one, could be "re-flown" in the machine (by switching the feedback used to drive the calibration machine, from the machine's load cells to the balance load elements).

Two things make the Ames Balance Calibration Machine unique. It's capacity can accept a balance six inches in diameter and 36 inches long; 10,000 lbs. of Normal Force; 5000 lbs. of Side Force; 1500 lbs of Axial Force; 30,000 inch-lbs. of RM; 40,000 inch-lbs. of Pitch Moment; 20,000 inch-lbs. of Yaw Moment.

The second item of distinction is that this machine is considered a repositioning machine. This means the orientation of the balance relative to the input load struts remains constant i.e., the deflection (the "springing") of the balance, while it's being loaded, is absorbed on the support or tunnel side of the balance while the model side remains precisely oriented to the machine load cells. The productivity, safe operation and capacity of this machine put Ames at the forefront for calibration of higher capacity wind tunnel balances.

Many people have contributed to the resounding success of this project. Recognition is given to Dr. Johannes M. van Aken for his Multi-Component Balance Data Reduction ToolBox. Thanks also go to all those involved over the life of the modification project. Finally, Dave Husmann (Code FEE) in particular is recognized for his efforts. He was the project manager for a number of years accommodating many changes in project scope and schedule to align with necessary changes in the Center's focus and philosophy in wind tunnel testing. Dave was largely responsible for the success of this project.

Strain Gauge Balance Paper presented at the ISA 46th International Instrumentation Symposium

Papers from Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Strain-Gage Balances

04-07 May 1999
Bedford, England, UK

Investigation of the integrity of tapered balance joints and their effect on lift/drag interactions and
rolling moment measurements R.D. Law
Defence Evaluation Research Agency
Bedford, UK

Aerodynamic Microbalance Calibration System
Yang Yanguang, Tang Zhigong
China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center
Mianyang, Sichuan, China

On the development of a thin shell fin balance
Peter M. Bedgood
Defencetek, CSIR
P.O. Box 395
Pretoria, South Africa

Rotating balances for direct propeller performance evaluation on motorised models
M. Bazin, J.F. Bret, T. Fetet, Marc Jacquemmoz
Onera, Grands Moyens Techniques

Facilities for Forces Measurement of Hypersonic Wind Tunnel Tests in BIA
Yu Tao, Lixin Liao, Yulin Li
Beijing Institute of Aerodynamics
Beijing 7215, 100074, People's Republic of China

Balance Technique for jet models wind tunnel testing
V.I. Lagutin, V.I. Lapygin
Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TSNIIMASH)

The six-component balance for blunt models aerodynamic force measurement in shock tunnel
Lu Zhiquo, Liu Hongshan, Zhang Yan
China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center
Mianyang, Sichuan, China

Automatic Repositioning Calibration rig for strain gage balance
Wang Jinyin, Liu Shuwei, Chen Liangze
Beijing Institute of Aerodynamics
100074, P.O. Box 7201-12
Beijing, P.R. China

Capabilities of NASA Ames Research Center's Automated balance calibration machine
Chris Lockwood, Sverdrup, NASA Ames Division
Phil Luan, Sverdrup, NASA Ames Division
Pat Whittaker, Wind Tunnel Systems Branch, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035

A study of Automatic Balance Calibration System Capabilities
Peter A. Parker, Ray D. Rhew
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, Virginia, USA

Balance Calibration and Performance Comparisons using 6-component Loads Derived from Actual Wind Tunnel Test Data
Dennis Booth, Richard Crooks, Allen Zwan
Micro Craft Technology
San Diego, California

A Consideration of Tare Weight Effects in Calibration and Use of Wind Tunnel Strain-Gauge Balances
Robin D. Galway
RobGal Aerotest Consulting, Ottawa, Canada

The Wind Tunnel Balance as Part of a System
David G. Coulton
Head of Technology
Aircraft Research Association Ltd.
Manton Lane, Bedford, MK41 7PF, England

Determination of Bias and Precision Uncertainties of a Strain Gauge Balance by Replicated Machine Calibration
John S. Tripp, Ping Tcheng
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, Virginia, USA

A New Half-Model-Balance for the Cologne-Cryogenic-Wind-Tunnel (Kryo-Kanal Köln)
Dr.-Ing. Klaus Hufnagel
Dipl.-Ing. Rudiger Rebstock
Dr.-Ing. Junnai Zhai

Temperature Control of External Balances for Semi-Span Models in Cryogenic Tunnels
S. Balakrishna, ViGYAN Inc.,
W.A. Kilgore, Veridan Engineering
D.H. Butler, Veridan Engineering

The application of an automatic balance calibration machine to examine the effect of air feed systems on half model balances
R.D. Law
Defence Evaluation Research Agency, Bedford, UK

The fully automatic balance calibration system (FABCS-3T) and the uncertainty analysis
Ma Husheng, Zhang Yingpei, Yu Kunlong, Yang Qilin, Tian Hongsheng
China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center
Mianyang, Sichuan, P.R. of China

TIGER: Development of Thermal Gradient Compensation Algorithms and Techniques
James Herford, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA
Peter A. Parker, Ray D. Rhew
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Improvements in sting balance calibration techniques
Michael Levkovitch, Doron Tchechik
Engineering Division
Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd.

Measures for Control of Wind Tunnel Balance Load and Fatigue Life
Gustav Ingmar Johnson
The Aeronautical Research Institute of Sweden (FFA)

A strain gauge balance calibration system at the Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory
Stephen S.W. Lan
Air Operations Division
Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory
Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Melbourne, Australia

Predesign and Optimization of Half-Model-Balances for Cryogenic Wind Tunnels by Finite Element Analysis
Dipl.-Ing. Rudiger Rebstock (DLR)
Dr.-Ing. Junnai Zhai (DLR)
Dr.-Ing. Klaus Hufnagel (TUD)

The Planned AGARDograph of the Internal Balance Technology
Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Bernd F.R. Ewald
Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany

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Page Last Updated: December 30th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator