U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee

SF.60.14.B1011: Test Science and Engineering for the Space Environment

Nichols, J.

(931) 454-3542

AEDC’s space research interests includes space survivability, space weather, autonomic data processing, large volume data processing, space and signature models/validation, and image processing. We are interested in topics that advance and improve simulated space environmental capability for full-spectrum, realistic space systems and threat assessments. Specifically, we develop and validate advanced space analysis capabilities. We emphasize the following: (1) creation of new software algorithms for simulation of environmental variables; (2) modeling and simulation to understand the response of systems under test when exposed to space environments; (3) characterization of phenomena that could have a significant impact on the next generation space platforms and vehicles (e.g., missile interceptors, surveillance satellites); (4) development of unique analytical processes that provide valuable insight into test design and evaluation of mission data.

SF.60.14.B1012: Sensor Arrays for Test Science and Engineering

Swanson, T.

(931) 454-4240

AEDC possesses the DoD's largest concentration of ground test facilities.  In the space and missiles area, four capabilities are currently open to SFFP: cryogenic vacuum chambers for simulating space, arc heated wind tunnels, a hyperballistic range, and missile signature measurement and computation.  Specific examples follow for each area.  The space chambers conduct tests for IR sensors, combined effects space systems and materials, and electric propulsion.  Wide field of view and large sensor array test techniques are required to enhance space sensor tests of next generation sensors.  Plasma diagnostics and an understanding of plasma effects with a facility constructed of metal walls will enable higher fidelity environmental and EP tests.  High power EP thrusters produce high density plumes and place unique demands on diagnostic instruments, like survivability.  Accurate setting of exo-atmospheric conditions in the material testing chamber also requires understanding of source (proton, electron, atomic oxygen) effects.  Both capabilities benefit from a solid understanding of plasmas and an instrument suite.  The arc heated wind tunnels simulate aerothermal effects like hypersonic flight and atmospheric entry, but these high power tunnels are prone to several issues created by the extreme environment they produce, including inter-segment arcing and material survivability, and would benefit from flow diagnostics capable of imaging the intense plume.  Range G, a hyperballistic range, conducts high speed impact, aerodynamic, and aerothermal testing in a quiescent environment.  Facility health of the projectile launching barrel and enhanced diagnostics for aero and impact tests are both current issues.  Computing missile hard body and plume signatures is processor intensive, yet parallelizable for graphic processing units.  Reprogramming existing codes to utilize advantageously the speed of GPUs would increase efficiency of those tasks.

Air Force Test Center

Douglas Hoffelt
AFTC Technology Transfer & Research Manager
1 South Rosamond Blvd, Bldg 1
Edwards AFB, CA 93524
Phone: (661) 277-9111/DSN: 527-9111
E-mail: douglas.hoffelt.1@us.af.mil