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

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

Air Force News – July 25, 2014

Utah The combined efforts of Hill Air Force Base’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex and several Defense Department organizations culminated in the initial delivery of three of 24 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft to the government of Indonesia. The Ogden ALC refurbished this initial batch of F-16s, and is scheduled to deliver 21 more F-16s to the...
 

 

People First – July 25, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. Official highlights...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
PEDRO MOTA

MMA ramps up combat training

Airman 1st ClassPEDRO MOTA Team Ill Brasil brings a new style of martial arts to the base. The Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center now offers discipline specific martial arts training Monday through Friday at the Combat T...
 
 
Tech. Sgt.
LOUIS VEGA, Jr.

Reserve recruiter has heart of bull

Tech. Sgt.LOUIS VEGA, Jr. Master Sgt. Stanley Iakopo, Air Force Reserve Command recruiter with the 944th Fighter Wing, puts Joe Vigil, pro fighter and assistant trainer, in a hold while training at Peraza Boxing and Mixed Marti...
 




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