Affiliation49th Test Squadron (Air Combat Command)
MetadataShow full item record
RightsCopyright © International Foundation for Telemetering
Collection InformationProceedings from the International Telemetering Conference are made available by the International Foundation for Telemetering and the University of Arizona Libraries. Visit http://www.telemetry.org/index.php/contact-us if you have questions about items in this collection.
AbstractAirborne instrumentation used during flight tests is being installed and maintained in a unique way by operational bomber testers from the Air Force’s 53d Wing. The ability of the flight test community to test on operational aircraft has always been somewhat curtailed by the need for advanced forms of instrumentation. Operational fighter flight test squadrons have aircraft assigned to them, which they modify on as needed basis, much the same as developmental testers. However, bomber operational test units must use operational aircraft to accomplish their mission as there are no bombers in the Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) specifically set aside for operational tests. During test missions, these units borrow aircraft from operational bomb wings, and then return them to service with the bomb wing after testing is complete. Yet, the requirement for instrumentation on these test missions is not much different than that of developmental testers. The weapon system engineer’s typically require Mil-Std-1553, video, telemetry, and Global Positioning System (GPS) Time-Space-Position-Information airborne receiver recordings. In addition, this data must be synchronized with an IRIG-B time code source, and recorded with the same precision as the data gathered during development test and evaluation (DT&E). As a result, several techniques have been developed, and instrumentation systems designed for these operational test units to incorporate instrumentation on operational aircraft. Several factors hamper the usual modification process in place at bases such as Edwards AFB and Eglin AFB. Primary among these is the requirement to maintain the aircraft in an operational configuration, and still meet all of the modification design safety criteria placed on the design team by the aircraft’s single manager. Secondary to the list of restrictions is modification time. Aircraft resources are stretched quite thin when one considers all of the bomb wing’s operational commitments. When they must release an aircraft for test missions, the testers must insure that schedule impacts are minimal. Therefore, these systems must install and de-install within one to two days and be completely portable. Placing holes in existing structures or adding new permanent structure is unacceptable. In addition, these aircraft must be capable of returning to combat ready status at any time. This paper centers on the B-52 bomber, and the active aircraft temporary modifications under control of the 49th Test Squadron (49 TESTS) at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. The B-52 presents unique design challenges all its own, in addition to the general restrictions already mentioned. This paper will present the options that the 49 TESTS has successfully used to overcome the aforementioned restrictions, and provide an appropriate level of specialized instrumentation for its data collection requirements.
SponsorsInternational Foundation for Telemetering