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So I'm working on fault insertion for my launch simulation.

It's basic: I flip a switch to kill the booster engines of my choice.

If two or more engines die, separation is triggered and the launch escape engines fire to carry the crew module away.

If just one engine dies, my thrust vectoring controller ramps up its PID gains to maintain control authority (or the rocket will veer off course).

This works, but it has me wondering: how would a real rocket like the space shuttle or Saturn V go from fault detection to launch escape... activation?

Say a critical engine malfunction occurs. There must have been some logic in place to detect the malfunction, issue an engine kill command, issue a vehicle separation command, fire the launch escape engine, and select the appropriate launch escape attitude control mode (I believe the Apollos had several).

Is there a description or schematic of this logic somewhere on the web? For a vehicle like the space shuttle or one of the Apollos, maybe? I imagine if the space shuttle and Saturn V controllers are public info, then this bit of logic might be too?

Thanks if you've seen it somewhere before and can point me to it! I'd love to go from "something that works" to "something in the ballpark of right."

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There was no escape system for shuttle so N/A there.

See this Q&A Why not turn off the main engines while using the launch escape system on liquid fuelled engines? and especially the documents referenced in the answer, namely

There's a full description of the Apollo system's history in APOLLO EXPERIENCE REPORT - COMMAND AND SERVICE MODULE SEQUENTIAL EVENTS CONTROL SUBSYSTEM

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! This is just what I needed. I always get great stuff from you. Thank you thank you :) :) :) $\endgroup$
    – user39728
    May 27 at 21:37

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