Practical Wind Tunnel Test Methodology for Directed Energy Applications
ABSTRACT: There is an urgent DoD desire to better enable effective ground testing T & E methodologies in order to maximize the information return for DE systems. During the planning phase for wind tunnel tests, the finite number of options for positioning the source, target, and sensors are evaluated. If the dynamic environment of each location is known, a motion damping system can be used to mitigate the jitter present in the wind tunnel. PM & AM Research, in collaboration with Texas A & M University, proposes to address this important capability gap by developing a practical wind tunnel test methodology for directed energy applications, using both optical and mechanical diagnostics to logically develop/mature the technology. A unique aspect of the proposed Phase I effort is the culminating wind tunnel testing demonstrations in the 8"x10"Oran W Nicks Low-Speed Wind Tunnel (LSWT) facility at Texas A & M University. The proposed methodology will be matured through the multiple-phase SBIR effort, into a useful system which can be easily implemented in any wind tunnel facility, to provide useful results for DE systems. BENEFIT: The technology described here has very clear application in a wide range of future DoD and non-DoD facilities/systems. Our proposed methodology would not only greatly benefit DoD wind tunnel facilities, but commercial and academic facilities as well. Additionally, the concepts developed during the Phase I/II efforts can easily be modified to produce a useful and cost-effective dynamic measurement system for a wide range of applications outside of wind tunnel testing. For example, in testing communications equipment, vehicles, or structures, where vibrations due to the test facility typically degrade or contaminate the data signal, our concept can be employed to isolate these vibrations from the data.
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