Local

July 10, 2017
 

Men on a hot tin roof: Benefield Anechoic Facility getting some work done

Kenji Thuloweit
Edwards AFB, Calif.

The 412th Civil Engineer Group is overseeing a roof upgrade for the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The project should last 45-50 days depending on heat and weather conditions.

Whether it’s made of tin or not, the roof of the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is getting a makeover.

The 412th Civil Engineer Group is overseeing a roof upgrade for the unique building.

According to the 412th CEG, workers can be seen high above the base for roughly 45-50 days depending on heat and weather conditions. The roof upgrade is being done to ensure no leaks occur and to repair damage done by wind over the past few years.

The BAF, operated by the 772nd Test Squadron, is the largest anechoic chamber in the world and can fit almost any airplane inside. It provides a signal-free space so electronic warfare tests can be conducted without radio frequency interference from the outside world.

The BAF was completed in July 1989. A dedication ceremony was held Nov. 14, 1990 where the facility was named the Benefield Anechoic Facility in honor of Rockwell chief test pilot Tommie D. “Doug” Benefield who perished Aug. 29, 1984 in a crash of a B-1A.

The BAF has since been used continuously for electronic warfare testing on all types of aircraft, from U.S. Air Force aircraft to allied nations aircraft. The chamber is filled with polyurethane and polyethylene pyramids, radar absorbing material designed to stop reflections of electromagnetic waves. The size of the pyramids, which are painted dark blue or black, varies depending on the particular frequency and test procedure being conducted. Aircraft systems can be tested and verified that they work properly prior to actual flight test.

Read more about the BAF here: http://www.edwards.af.mil/Units/772nd-Test-Squadron/.




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