Local

January 31, 2014

Local high schoolers get glimpse of careers in science, technology

Students from Antelope Valley, Lancaster and Desert High Schools participated in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-focused tour of Edwards AFB, Jan. 22. Their stops included the Air Force Test Pilot School, the 412th Electronic Warfare Group and NASA. While at 412th EWG, each student was given two minutes to fly the F-16 simulator at the Integration Facility for Avionics Systems Test.

Students from Antelope Valley, Lancaster and Desert High Schools participated in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-focused tour of Edwards AFB, Jan. 22. Their stops included the Air Force Test Pilot School, the 412th Electronic Warfare Group and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center.

At the TPS, David Vanhoy, technical director, encouraged the students to figure out what motivates them and pursue that in their education and future careers. To support his point, he showed videos that depict a typical day at the school and what motivates test pilots to soar.

According to Vanhoy, a test pilot student has three halves in his day. The first half is rigorous ground school, the second half is flying and the third half is writing reports. Though the work is hard, Vanhoy believes that if a person works hard at what motivates them, they will be “guaranteed successful.”

Col. Kevin Muckerheide, 412th Test Wing Electronic Warfare Group commander, started out to be an architect and ended up working as an electrical engineer instead. He stated that he first came to Edwards 15 years ago to be around fighter jets. During that time he began to realize that “math is math no matter where you go and it’s an incredible tool.”

While at EWG, 1st Lt. Seth Martin, an engineer, took half of the students into the Benefield Anechoic Facility while the others went to the Integration Facility for Avionics Systems Test where they flew their F-16 simulator.

“Tours like this are very important because they give people something to look forward to, with all the hard work that they are putting into their studies. I know when I was at Lancaster High School I took all the AP classes and at times you wonder, ‘why am I really doing all this, is it really worth it?’ and then you come and see something awesome like this and what I get to do on a daily basis, work with airplanes, which pretty much everyone wants to do,” said Adam Sundberg, 412th EWG, flight test engineer.

A student from a local high school experiences the F-16 Simulator at the 412th Electronic Warfare group Jan. 22.

Meanwhile in the BAF, Martin was answering questions about radar absorbent material and free space loss. He explained that the word anechoic literally means “without echo.” The facility is free of influences from the electromagnetic spectrum, making it a controlled space for electronic warfare tests and antenna pattern tests.

The radar absorbent material, or RAM, lines the walls of the BAF and the RAM on the ground must be moved for each individual test. Once an aircraft is inside, power sources and hydro and cooling equipment are sent to the airplane to simulate flight.

Tests might include checking the effectiveness of a stealth aircraft, noise jamming or false target jamming.

“Electronic warfare is basically a giant, super complicated game of Marco Polo,” said Martin. “We don’t want others to pick up our radio frequencies.”

The door to the facility is the world’s largest single-piece free standing door. The door is pushed eight inches from the chamber and then takes 45 minutes to slide open or close. Air bladders running all the way around inflate and compress the door up against the chamber to create a tight, triple-copper seal going all the way around. Then, they deflate and break the seal before a plane can be rolled in or out.

“The BAF is a sterile, perfect environment and we can run test points for a lot cheaper,” said Martin.

He added that they have had a variety of customers including the United Kingdom’s Tornado, NASA’s X-51 Wave Rider and the Navy’s B-22. They have also run tests on the BMW three, 5 and 7 series and even some tests for John Deer.

“Transformers 2″ and “Armageddon” both had scenes filmed in the BAF.

First Lt. Seth Martin, a 412th Electronic Warfare Group engineer, shows the students from local high schools what radio absorbent material looks like in the Benefield Anechoic Facility.

“The most important thing about a tour like this is getting to see how the skills that they’re learning right now work in the real world. It’s much easier to be motivated to learn a skill when you can see how you’re going to use that in your life,” said Martin.

According to Jose Baratas, principal at Lancaster High School, they participated in the tour to stir up interest in their newly expanded engineering program.

“Instead of just seeing what people might consider the dry part of engineering, we wanted them to see the real application of it,” said Baratas. “We want to get them exposed to good role models too.”

The students weren’t the only ones who learned something new during their visit to Edwards.

“The BAF room that we were just in and what they can put in there, is interesting. I didn’t know that building even existed,” said Michael McMillan, Lancaster High School, Math and Engineering teacher. “I heard a couple of my Intro to Engineering students, when we saw the RAM, say ‘we could probably design something like this,’ so already they’re applying what they’re seeing and they want to draw it on their computer which I thought was really cool.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins

412th Test Wing 1st Quarter Award Winners

Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins Brig. Gen. Carl E. Schaefer, 412th Test Wing commander, watches Jeanette White, 412th Civil Engineering Group, absolutely smash a foam baseball into the audience after accepting her 30-year...
 
 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

North Gate safety alert SAFETY ALERT! Due to mechanical issues with the North Gate, there have been large metal plates installed over gaps in the roadway while repair operations are being scheduled. Drivers should exercise caution and reduce speeds in these areas. In inclement weather and blowing dust, the plates may become slippery and vehicles,...
 
 
MG-appointments

Don’t be a no show

The 412th Medical Group is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of you and your family by providing access to its services and the best possible medical care. No shows are a costly problem for the 412th MDG and the patie...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Brad White

Team Edwards hosts Military Retiree Appreciation Day

Air Force photograph by Brad White Approximately 400 military retirees, their families and surviving spouses were in attendance during the 2015 Military Retiree Appreciation Day event held at the Oasis Community Center and 27 i...
 
 

Education Center Open House May 27

The Edwards AFB Education Center will be hosting an Open House†that will be open to all military and their family members, and civilians working on Edwards 11 a.m.-1 p.m., May 27. The Education and Training†Center is located on 140 Methusa Ave., Bldg. 2453. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the Ed Center staff...
 
 

Excellence in Aviation Award banquet set for June 13

The Flight Test Historical Foundation will hold the 5th annual Excellence in Aviation Awards banquet June 13. This year’s honorees are the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing from March Air Reserve Base. The wing operates the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator aircraft built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. For the first time in the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>