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Aero-Mechanical Force Emulator



OBJECTIVE: Add realistic aero-mechanical forcing to laser system environmental testing. Develop a method and apparatus to apply realistic aerodynamic loads to a laser beam director without requiring the flow of air over it. Convert flight or CFD-generated disturbances to a spatially-and-temporally representative set of mechanical forces which can be imparted (mechanically) to actual beam director or flight hardware. 

DESCRIPTION: Designed to apply external forces to a beam director which is mounted, at its base, to a shaker table. Capable of applying forces to a generic beam director between 30 cm and 1 m in diameter. Threshold: In-phase, 3-DOF linear forcing of the beam-director external surface. Objective: In-phase, 3-DOF linear forcing plus 3-DOF shear (torque) forcing of the beam-director external surface (TBD) lbf/in^2 rms at 30 Hz, (TBD) lbf/in^2 rms at 1KHz Hz. 

PHASE I: Develop a conceptual design for an aero-mechanical force emulator to meet Government specifications, including replication of specific flight disturbances and compatibility with existing test infrastructure (i.e. ELTF). 

PHASE II: Design, build and demonstrate a prototype emulator using a surrogate beam director in AFRL’s Environmental Laser Test Facility. 

PHASE III: Design and deliver a production emulator for use with multiple beam director types in AFRL’s Environmental Laser Test Facility. 


1. Marko Bacic and Monte MacDiarmid. "Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation of Aerodynamic Objects", AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit, Guidance, Navigation, and Control and Co-located Conferences, https://doi-org.kirtland.idm.oclc; 2.

KEYWORDS: Vibration Testing, Hardware-in-the-loop, Shaker Table, Environmental Testing, Force Emulator, Aerodynamic 

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