Defense

May 1, 2013

AEDC Wind Tunnel upgrade improves flexible nozzle accuracy, reliability

ATA Mission Support Department construction manager Dusty Kirkham conducts calibration tests on the new roll mechanism that will be used at AEDC in the Propulsion Wind Tunnelís four foot transonic wind tunnel, 4T. The roll mechanism which supports the sting, or test support arm, and the test article provides the ability to roll the test item during a test and handle higher loads of a test requirement.

RNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. AEDC’s aerodynamic customers will have added assurance of smooth Mach number transitions due to recent upgrades underway in the Propulsion Wind Tunnelís four foot transonic wind tunnel called 4T.

An AEDC operations and maintenance team recently completed the mechanical installation of new flexible nozzle actuators in a series of scheduled upgrades for 4T, a continuous-flow, mid-size test facility used for conducting small-scale aerodynamic and store separation tests.

The new actuators are electro-mechanically driven ball-screw jacks which move the flexible top and bottom plates in the 4T tunnel providing variable Mach numbers or wind speeds. †They will provide precision movement of the flexible plates and the ability to better handle the bending stresses and aerodynamic loads generated while testing.

There are 15 actuators on both the top and bottom plates providing a ëmirror imageí movement,î said Doug Ratliff, an ATA PWT 4T modernization project manager. ìThese actuators are similar to the ones that were recently installed in VKF (von K·rm·n Gas Dynamics Facility.)

Another upgrade to 4Tís flow capability includes a new flexible nozzle actuator control system like the system utilized in the complexís VKF wind tunnel A which is also equipped with a flexible nozzle.

The NCS is currently being installed and has an operator interface that will allow the operator to position the nozzle plates, monitor the system status and diagnose control system problems.

The NCS also has a positioning program which provides closed-loop control for the nozzle actuators. The protection system in the NCS continuously monitors the hardware and software performance health and plate stress to protect the nozzle plates from damage.

Keith Gipson (right) and Dennis OíDear (behind the actuators), both ATA outside machinists, install newly designed and fabricated nozzle actuators in the Propulsion Wind Tunnelís four foot transonic wind tunnel, 4T at AEDC. The actuators are electromechanically driven ball-screw jacks which move the flexible top and bottom plates in the 4T tunnel closer together providing variable Mach numbers or wind speeds.

The 4T modernization team was able to rely on in-house expertise for developing the NCS.

AEDC’s ATA support contractorís Manufacturing Services section fabricated and installed the NCS cabinets and hardware. The ATA Instrumentation and Controls Systems Design section developed the NCS software while the Facilities & Test Techniques section created simulation software. †The Flight Systems Operations & Maintenance Section is installing the field wiring.

Due to the unique test facilities and support systems found at AEDC, having the ability to do in-house design and fabrication allows AEDC to quickly respond to any repairs or modifications which may be needed to address unique requirements or changing demands of our test customers, said Ricky Mead, an ATA PWT 4T modernization project manager. ìIt also means that, should a customer determine during testing that their model requires a modification(s) in order to continue, they do not necessarily have to send the model back to their home office for the modifications, but can get those modifications done right here at AEDC minimizing both the cost and the impact to their testing schedule.

A new 4T roll mechanism, designed and fabricated by AEDCís Model and Machine Shop, has been checked out and is being prepped for installation.

The roll mechanism which supports the sting, or test support arm, and the test article, provides the ability to roll the test article during a test. It will handle higher loads required when operating the 4T Captive Trajectory Support system used to conduct staging or store separation testing.

The nozzle upgrades, along with upgrades to the 4T Data Acquisition System and the Captive Trajectory System, will provide commonality between 4T and the A, B and C tunnels for AEDC customers who wish to test their model in both 4T and tunnels A, B or C, Mead said. ìIt will also provide a similar look and feel for AEDC test crews who conduct testing in both 4T and A, B and C tunnels.

The 4T tunnel is scheduled for return to service at the end of July 2014.




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 14, 2014

Business: U.S. Navy looks to leverage submarine work to keep costs down - The U.S. Navy hopes to save money and time by leveraging industry investments as it replaces its Ohio-class nuclear-armed submarines with the Virginia-class attack submarines now built by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.  Study raises red flags on California aerospace...
 
 

News Briefs April 14, 2014

U.S. Navy destroyer Zumwalt christened in Maine The U.S. Navy has christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot (186-meter)-long warship with advanced technologies and a stealthy design that will reduce its visibility on enemy radars. The warship bears the name of the late Adm. Elmo ìBudî Zumwalt, who became the...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III

Russian aircraft flies near U.S. Navy ship in Black Sea

Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III Sailors man the rails as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 11, 2014. Donald Cook is the first of four Arle...
 

 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Cubic for Moroccan P5 air combat training system

Cubic Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation announced April 11 it has been awarded a contract valued at more than $5 million from the U.S. Air Force to supply its P5 Combat Training System to the Moroccan Air Force. Morocco will join the United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, along with a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this ye...
 




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>