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Partnership for the Revitalization of National Wind Tunnel Force Measurement CapabilityLack of funding and lack of focus on research over the past several years, coupled with force measurement capabilities being decentralized and distributed across the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research centers, has resulted in a significant erosion of (1) capability and infrastructure to produce and calibrate force measurement systems; (2) NASA s working knowledge of those systems; and (3) the quantity of high-quality, full-capability force measurement systems available for use in aeronautics testing. Simultaneously, and at proportional rates, the capability of industry to design, manufacture, and calibrate these test instruments has been eroding primarily because of a lack of investment by the aeronautics community. Technical expertise in this technology area is a core competency in aeronautics testing; it is highly specialized and experience-based, and it represents a niche market for only a few small precision instrument shops in the United States. With this backdrop, NASA s Aeronautics Test Program (ATP) chartered a team to examine the issues and risks associated with the problem, focusing specifically on strain- gage balances. The team partnered with the U.S. Air Force s Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) to exploit their combined capabilities and take a national level government view of the problem. This paper describes the team s approach, its findings, and its recommendations, and the current status for revitalizing the government s balance capability with respect to designing, fabricating, calibrating, and using the instruments.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rhew, Ray D.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Skelley, Marcus L.
(Arnold Engineering Development Center Arnold AFS, TN, United States)
Woike, Mark R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Bader, Jon B.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Marshall, Timothy J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 5, 2009
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
47th AIAA Aerosciences Conference(Orlando, FL)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: wbs 122711.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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