Johnson, Gary G.; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1992-10)
      Flight testing has dramatically changed from the freewheeling “right-stuff” aviation days of the 40s and 50s. The computer age was just beginning. There was essentially no access to data other than voice and radar tracking information on the ground to monitor the flights. The advent of reliable and effective ground systems for real-time safety monitoring was still in the future. Unfortunately, the lack of these systems played a contributing role in the large number of accidents which killed or injured a significant number of our nation’s pioneer test pilots. As technology evolved, more real-time access to critical safety and performance parameters became available to our flight test engineers on the ground. This technology included sophisticated aircraft instrumentation of key measurements, improved telemetry transmission and reception, and finally, enhanced real-time processing and display of the test data to the engineers. One advantage achieved through these technological advances in testing was a tremendous improvement in flight safety. Although accidents can still happen, today they are very rare thanks, in part, to the ability to accurately monitor and control a test program on the ground. The Advanced Data Acquisition and Processing Systems (ADAPS) program is specifically tailored to meet the needs of test engineers on the ground at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) Edwards AFB, California, to monitor a flight through the use of state-of-the-art data acquisition, processing, and display technologies. This paper provides an overall perspective of the requirements for data processing which ADAPS addresses. In addition, the ADAPS design concept, architecture, and development plan are discussed. The purpose is to describe how the ADAPS development effort meets the flight test end user needs of the 1990s. The paper concludes with a section on how we can apply the ADAPS concepts and technology to help equip the multiple Department of Defense (DoD) test centers with a common test data processing capability.