DVIDS – News – TRMC Funding Boosts Hypersonic Testing Throughput at Arnold Engineering Development Complex Facilities
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. – Two of the test and evaluation capacities within the Space Testing Branch of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex received funding from the Test Resource Management Center, or TRMC, to improve the country’s capacity to test hypersonic systems in a timely manner.
As of fiscal 2020, $ 850,000 has been allocated to support the capacity to characterize and assess high temperature materials. These funds enabled the AEDC team, made up of government employees and entrepreneurs, to add five engineers, currently in training, and 10 artisans, of whom seven are in training and three of them are now fully trained. With the additional staff, the high-temperature laboratory, consisting of three arc heaters, can operate 16 hours a day, 5 days a week, with the option of upgrading to longer operations when the test schedule requires. Operations include testing, facility maintenance and test preparation.
The pace of operations is necessary to meet the demand for test capacity.
“With the growth of staff, the frequency of testing has increased from 77 executions in FY2020 to an expected workload of 116 executions in FY2022,” said Frank Wonder, Section Head. Bows. “Additional improvements funded by TRMC have the potential to increase the test throughput at the arc installation to 150 runs per year in FY2023 and beyond.”
Heating arcs are used to simulate aerodynamic heating and medium to high shear pressures of extreme environmental conditions encountered during reentry and hypersonic flight to characterize and assess ablation, or erosion, of materials. and thermal protection systems. A crucial capability in the development of hypersonic weapon systems and reentry vehicles.
“TRMC’s investment has been critical in transforming AEDC’s high temperature lab into a production facility that advances the state of high temperature materials testing within the Department of Defense,” Wonder said. . “Being at the forefront of the development of hypersonic weapon systems is motivating for young engineers. They want to come and work here. Rather than simply serving as facilitators in an “air rental center”, they provide acquisition programs with actionable information that positively impacts the weapon systems development process. For me, it is personally rewarding to work with such a talented mix of ‘high octane’ professionals in our government, TOS [Test Operations and Sustainment contractor], and TMAS [Technical and Management Advisory Services contractor] The arc test team which was fueled in large part by the support of the TRMC.
$ 1.5 million TRMC funding was provided for the G Range, which is one of the ballistic ranges used at Arnold AFB to support hypervelocity ground testing and evaluation. , impact and lethality.
The funding enabled the AEDC team to increase supplies of consumables for the line, purchase essential spare equipment, replace operational supplies and improve operational efficiency. Supplies purchased included gunpowder for the first stage of projectile launch, high-speed cameras and a spare flash x-ray scanner.
“These enhancements and modernizations increase test turnaround time and eliminate single point of failure elements that age and are increasingly susceptible to delays,” said Shana Morris, manager of management support. of AEDC project.
The G range is used to assess the aerodynamics and impact lethality of hyperspeed and high-speed systems by collecting and analyzing the flight characteristics of projectiles in simulated flight environments and the impact on targets. This is a large, lightweight, two-stage gas cannon that offers minimized acceleration loading capability for launching extremely high-fidelity models at hyperspeed speeds.
The models are launched into an instrumented chamber which can be maintained under pressure to simulate different altitudes. High speed cameras and flash x-rays are the two main instrumentation systems used to study projectiles in flight.
“The National Defense Strategy has multiple objectives that require the support of AEDC’s hyperspeed ranges in support of development and acquisition programs,” said Jonathan Carroll, Ranges Section Chief. . “The past few years have seen an increase in customer demand, as well as multiple reactivations of capabilities to meet customer test requirements. Responding to these increasing demands, while continuing to provide unique test data, will be critical in providing decision-ready information to program offices and requirements managers.
“The funding provided by TRMC has made possible critical updates and infrastructure improvements to enable AEDC’s lines to be prepared for the increasing workload. Mission partners have already seen the impacts of some of these efforts through reduced downtime, improved facility performance, critical spare parts available, and improved operational efficiency. . The investment will pay dividends from increased test throughput for many years to come. ”
|Date posted:||03/01/2022 10:21|
|Site:||ARNOLD AFB, TN, United States|
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