Raytheon Company, Electromagnetic Systems Division (ESD), Goleta, California, has recently completed a facility that simulates the environments measured on the AN/ALQ-184 EW Jammer Pod during a series of flight tests.
The laboratory uses high-intensity acoustic excitation to duplicate the effects of turbulent aerodynamic flow, vibration exciters to drive the lower frequency air frame structural motions, temperature-conditioned air across the store to simulate the effects of frictional skin heating or frigid conditions, and temperature-conditioned coldplate fluid to create the correct thermal effect on the high voltage section of the pod (see Figure 1).
This approach to testing externally carried stores builds on the work that has been done by the Navy at the Pacific Missile Test Center (PMTC), Point Mugu, California. The primary differences are in the use of two distinct thermal profiles applied simultaneously to different portions of the test item, and the use of multiple accelerometers in the control of the vibroacoustic environment.
Special considerations had to be taken into account in the design of the test facility. Overall sound pressure levels of 155 dB were required to achieve the desired pod response. Space restrictions caused the facility to be placed within 21.3 m (70 ft) of the property boundary in an area zoned as a research park. Water restrictions in Santa Barbara County prevented the use of a water cooling system for equipment typically cooled by liquid. Both problems were addressed and successfully overcome. The completed lab is now being used for reliability growth testing and for lot sampling of the production pods.