AFEWES Selected for New Simulation Capability
FORT WORTH, Texas, July 6th, 1998 -- A significant new simulation capability was recently authorized for development and installation at the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator (AFEWES) test facility located at Air Force Plant No. 4 in Fort Worth, Texas, operated by Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems. This new simulation will permit laboratory testing of developing technology for defending aircraft against enemy missiles.
Development of the multi-spectral Missile Warning System (MWS) simulation will be accomplished by Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems under a $3.1 million contract. The simulation is expected to be on line by August 1999.
Dewey Tipton, AFEWES Manager, said the Fort Worth laboratory was selected to develop this simulation over other Department of Defense facilities because of its better capabilities, potential for expansion, reasonable cost and shorter schedule.
The simulator is known as a "hardware-in-the-loop" simulator, since actual aircraft hardware will be used in the tests. This approach allows large numbers of test runs to be made under repeatable, high fidelity test conditions at a small fraction of the time, cost and risk associated with missile live fire testing.
The simulation will be unique in that it allows laboratory testing of IR and UV missile sensors with wide fields of view in a dynamic, real-time, closed-loop scenario. The simulator is based upon an innovative concept to test the ability of aircraft sensors to detect incoming missile threats.
The simulator will be housed in a 40-foot dome with the aircraft sensors mounted at the center of the dome on a three-axis flight table that simulates the aircraft flying a mission. Scene projectors (up to five) surrounding the flight table will be used to project high fidelity images of missiles in flight on the dome surface. Reflections off the dome surface will be detected and analyzed by the aircraft sensors to determine whether an image is a real threat or a false alarm, the direction of the missile and its time of arrival.
In the future, the MWS could be integrated with the rest of the AFEWES (including its two existing IR laboratories) to provide the capability to test all types of sensors and countermeasures in a complete end-to-end engagement. In a typical test, a missile (either air launched or ground launched) could detect, track and launch at a target aircraft. The target aircraft self-defense avionics could then detect and track the oncoming missile and initiate countermeasures. In addition, piloted cockpits could be incorporated for friendly and aggressor aircraft.
The AFEWES is a major electronic combat test facility managed by the 412th Test Wing of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, Calif., and is operated and maintained by Lockheed Martin. The mission of the AFEWES is to evaluate the effectiveness of aircraft self-protection systems and techniques in simulated threat environments. It contains realistic simulations of over 30 threat weapon systems. In October of this year, AFEWES will celebrate its 40th year of service to the militaries of the United States and allied countries.