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Flight Systems Data Acquisition via Onboard Air-Gapped Communication System

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems OBJECTIVE: Identify strategies in increasing data quality for customer tests by eliminating instrumentation bridging across the force-balance via an air-gapped communication solution. DESCRIPTION: Increased demand in performance from next generation vehicles, coupled with the ever-diminishing development timelines, puts strong emphasis in maximizing test campaign efficiency. This has driven an increase in instrumentation onboard test models to combine a multitude of test techniques into a single phase. A new system for communication to these ancillary instruments is needed in order to reduce the adverse impacts and reduced data quality from instrumentation bridging across the force balance. For example, in the von Karman Facility (VKF) of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, some test models less than 4 inches in diameter may have an Electronically Scanned Pressure Module, QFLEX, Auxiliary Fin Balances and Remote Drive Systems, Thermocouples, and Kulites all onboard the model, bridging the metric model to the non-metric support system. Alone, the interference is insignificant, but when combined the cabling can significantly reduce data quality and increase risk to programs and their development. A compact telemetry system is needed that can be mounted internal to the model and allow for robust transmission of data to a receiver outside of the tunnel and thus minimize bridging across the balance. Additionally, the telemetry system must be integrated into the existing facility data system. PHASE I: Phase 1 effort should leverage existing technologies to develop a compact system capable of achieving the desired reduction in main balance interference. The approach should be low-risk, and produce a robust telemetry system capable of handling the many test techniques of the facility. Demonstrate the capability of 10 channels at 1 kHz data rates which can operate in wind tunnel models to be tested in the AEDC Propulsion Wind Tunnels, including reception with multipath interference. PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype system with 50 channels at 10 kHz data rates which can operate in wind tunnel models to be tested in PWT and VKF, including reception with multipath interference. The telemetry system must be able to be integrated into the existing data system for checkout and demonstration. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The expansion of similar systems into other government and commercial testing facilities. REFERENCES: 1. 1. Test Capabilities Guide - https://media.defense.gov/2021/Jun/23/2002747597/-1/-1/1/2021%20TEST%20CAPABILITIES%20GUIDE.PDF KEYWORDS: telemetry; air-gapped communications
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