One of the tasks of the development tests conducted on a launch pad is verification of its strength properties. The tests are carried out after the launch pad was manufactured and assembled on-site as well as during the whole operating period (if necessary). Load mode was chosen in consideration of cost and possibility of providing the required loading conditions. Two modes of creating the required test load were examined: usage of weights with corresponding mass (load simulators) or special devises (which have smaller mass as compared with load simulators). The descriptions, basic characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of composite and bulk weights and pad loading device are given. This article studies the pad loading device under development. This device enables to conduct static nondestructive tests on the launch pad in order to check its strength after manufacturing and during the whole operating period. The device consists of the load-bearing frame, hydraulic system, locks, control system and measurement system. Advantages of the pad loading device include low materials consumption, low cost in comparison with composite weights (with large load values), provision of the required modes for applying and removing the test load, controlled separate loading of each support of the launch pad, high mobility, short duration of testing, possibility of using launch pads of other rocket complexes with lower or equal test load values for testing. Therefore, the pad loading device enables to achieve the required test load values while having considerably smaller dimensions and mass as compared with composite weights and bigger functional possibilities as compared with bulk weights. Small overall dimensions and operability reduce the number of needed personnel and equipment.
Key words: weight for testing, test load, loading device.
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