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AFTC Launches New Digital Engineering Efforts > Air Force > Article Display



Fresh off the release of its digital modernization strategy, the Air Force Test Center launched three digital engineering efforts to provide on-ramps to the evolution of Air Force digital engineering technology ecosystem.























These programs will evaluate digital test methods for weapon systems to address the desire to reduce strain on physical test infrastructure (ground and flight), identify root causes of failures earlier in the development test process, compress the schedules of major national test programs, limit open-air testing of highly sensitive programs, and correlate with acquisition digital engineering models.

“I think the AFTC is uniquely positioned to create data-driven models to aid in decision-making before a program bends the metal,” said Dr. Thomas Fetterhoff, AFTC Technical Advisor for Aerodynamics, Propulsion, and Ground Test and Evaluation. “With modeling and simulation, we can assess and manage uncertainties in system performance. This allows the program manager to reduce risks in a quantified way. »

AFTC has partnered with Ansys to connect system design and performance through authoritative source data.

“Commercial engineering simulation has been proven to significantly reduce cost, schedule and risk in DoD programs,” said Kevin Flood, vice president of digital mission engineering at Ansys. “Ansys is proud to partner with the AFTC to help field capability at the operational tempo of warfighter needs. Our subsidiary Ansys Government Initiatives continues this mission with dedicated national security mission support.”

The first digital engineering effort will see Arnold Engineering Development Complex partner with Ansys to synthesize multi-fidelity data sources with digital models to aid early design processes. These models, along with uncertainty quantification techniques, will provide programs with performance predictions, an assessment of the veracity of those predictions, and a plan to improve those predictions through additional testing and modeling effort.

John Grigaliunas, AFTC Technical Advisor, said, “AFTC also seeks to harness the power of modeling and simulation to overcome geographic and environmental barriers to help shape current and future capabilities.

The second digital engineering effort will help determine how simulation can augment physical testing in model delivery, as a result of development testing. In this effort, the 412th Test Wing will provide simulation capabilities and develop workflows to perform virtual testing of infrared search and tracking systems that present unique challenges in flight testing.

“The use of advanced M&S extends the performance predictions for these systems that are otherwise prohibitively expensive for flight testing while providing orders of magnitude more information to the warfighter,” said Ronald Hardgrove, Electro Flight Leader -optical/infrared/technical advisor to the 775th Test Squadron.

Finally, a team led by Kevin Sura, the 96th Operations Group Technical Advisor, will lead a modeling effort to improve test point density, revol rates, and rapid analysis to support effective acquisition planning. earlier in a program’s life cycle.

Sura said, “Dynamic and interactive test planning and post-flight analysis in a flexible ad-hoc modeling environment will go a long way in helping the T&E community deliver data faster and with more insight,” said Sura. sure.”

By applying in-house developed and commercially available physics-based simulation technology to these three projects that exhibit applicability across disparate technologies, AFTC develops open connectivity and portability to specific digital environments T and E and supports requirements throughout the weapon system life cycle.