Air Force

November 15, 2013

Precise measurements mean mission success

Tags:
Senior Airman GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Tim Henderson, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron precision maintenance equipment laboratory craftsman, looks through an alignment telescope Nov.1 in Bldg. 417 on Luke Air Force Base. Airmen in PMEL calibrate equipment such as torque wrenches, scales and aircraft reference fixtures.

At Luke Air Force Base, precision is key to every mission — not only for Airmen but also for the equipment they use.

It is the job of the precision measurement equipment laboratory Airmen to ensure various types of measurement tools and equipment work correctly, whether used on the tire of a fighter jet or to weigh Airmen before their fitness test.

“In PMEL we calibrate anything that makes a quantifiable measurement, including the areas of fuel flow, air flow, pressure, torque, force and voltage,” said. Tech. Sgt. Douglas Locke, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron test measurement and diagnostic equipment assistant flight chief.

PMEL is broken down into three primary sections.

The physical dimensional section does physics-type measurements including linear, pressure, force, torque and optics.

“In Phys-D some of the things we calibrate include the scales the traffic management office uses to weigh pallets for cargo planes,” said Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Sheldon, 56th CMS TMDE flight chief.

“It’s essential to the mission because if the scales aren’t calibrated correctly, the aircraft can be off-balance and potentially crash.”

Some of the more unique items Phys-D works on are aircraft reference fixtures that are used to establish a plane of reference for the aircraft to zero in the weapons, the heads-up display and more, Locke said.

For anything that has to do with voltage, current or electricity there is the direct current and low frequency section.

“Here we calibrate multi-meters which measure voltage and current,” Locke said. “We also calibrate a lot of the base ‘measurement standards’ and equipment for the base including voltage references.”

Lastly, there is the wave-form analysis and signal generation section.

“This section deals with anything that creates a signal or measures a signal,” Sheldon said. “This encompasses oscilloscopes, and spectrum analyzers that measure frequency and voltage. There is also calibration of equipment that measures vibration which is used to diagnose possible issues with F-16 fighter jet engines.”

To guarantee mission success, PMEL has many tools or “standards” they use to make sure everything is calibrated precisely.

“Our standards are traceable back to national references and are at least four times more accurate than our customer’s equipment,” Sheldon said. “We are basically comparing the customer’s equipment to our ‘standard’ when calibrating them.”

Although only a 30 Airmen and civilian team, PMEL successfully completes 10,200 maintenance actions per year and in total, supports about 6,700 pieces of equipment at Luke while serving the Army and Airmen at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Air National Guard base.

“We have 160 customers throughout the Air Education and Training Command,” Locke said. “We are also the AETC’s regional ‘go-to’ for calibrating oxygen equipment.”

PMEL is vital to the Air Force mission.

“Their job is important because, for example, if an Airman uses an uncalibrated pressure gauge on a jet’s tire it can potentially explode if the tire pressure isn’t reading correctly,” Locke said. “We can’t have precision airstrikes without precision measurement.”




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


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Chrach saves lives, earns recognition

Courtesy Photo Tech. Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Chrach, 56th SFS MWD, pose for a photo in Afghanistan during their 2012 deployment. Chrach was recently awarded the 12th A...
 
 

Ahead of schedule …

Master Sgt. Thomas Hartley, right, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group depot structural maintenance chief and Staff Sgt. Joseph Kern, 309th AMG DSM craftsman, analyze blueprints to repair cracked canopy seal longerons in Hangar 914 Dec. 11 at Luke Air Force Base. Hartley is team leader for the seven-man depot team sent from Hill Air Force Base,...
 
 

Heating up the asphalt …

The heat and exhaust of a launching F-16 Fighting Falcon creates a photo opportunity Jan. 8 on the runway at Luke Air Force Base. Luke’s mission is to train the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots while deploying mission-ready warfighters.
 

 

Divorce comes with heavy baggage

Divorce, though a difficult chapter in many lives, happens. Divorce comes with both financial and emotional burdens for all involved. Once the decision is made, knowing what will come next can be helpful and comforting. In order to file for divorce in Arizona, one of the parties must reside in Arizona for 90 days. In...
 
 
6_150113-F-VY794-166

Test … testing … 1-2-3

Airman 1st Class Brian Dirgo, 56th CMS avionics team member, demonstrates soldering procedures on an engine diagnostic unit.
 
 
Courtesy photo

White Sands ‘Vipers’ – F-16 training thrives at Holloman

Courtesy photo Lt. Col. Jerod Rick, 54th Fighter Group chief of standardization and evaluation, and 1st Lt. Taylor Roberts, 311th Fighter Squadron basic course student, prepare to taxi Nov. 13, 2014, in an F-16 Fighting Falcon ...
 




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>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin