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.


 
 

 

F-35 Lightning II costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24, 2015. Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts. He also acknowledged the...
 
 
Navy photograph by Monica McCoy

Navy conducts production acceptance test of Tomahawk missile

Navy photograph by Monica McCoy Members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division team at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head prepare a Tomahawk missile for a functional ground test at the Large Motor Test Fa...
 
 
af-launch1

9th-generation GPS satellite blasts off from ‘The Cape’

ULA photograph A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launches the GPS IIF-9 satellite for the Air Force March 25, 2015, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-37.   The 45th Space Wing, Cape Cana...
 

 
JSF1

Edwards joint maintenance team completes significant JSF propulsion verification event

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds A joint team of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy maintainers, DOD employees and Pratt and Whitney contractors work on an F135 engine March 17 as part of a week-long to provide verified tec...
 
 

F-35 aircraft costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts in the latest...
 
 
Army photograph

First unit fields Apache-Shadow combo

Army photograph An RQ-7B Shadow v2 prepares to launch. Manned-unmanned operations using helicopters linked with unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, have been used by the Army for a number of years. However, no single unit has ev...
 




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>