Original Date: 08/10/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Test Site Equipment Certification
The Test Site Equipment Certification for aircraft tests provides the framework for modifying the test site configuration, installing the test site unique data retrieval devices, and ensuring that the site is ready for conducting tests with aircraft. The certification process enables the Navy to conduct shore-based testing and component checkout safely, economically, and with the highest degree of reliability before using these systems and components on aircraft carriers at sea.
Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Lakehurst’s Catapult Complex consists of two aircraft carrier type steam catapults and a high pressure steam plant. Both catapults can launch aircraft or deadloads weighing up to 100,000 pounds, and can accelerate either up to 185 knots under normal conditions or higher for special tests. The catapults are extensively instrumented to allow engineers to gather data on catapult performance. Testing and design verification using actual aircraft is extremely expensive, but necessary to ensure the utmost reliability of new or modified catapult systems prior to installation in the Fleet. Uncertainty of test site configuration of equipment and/or instrumentation could lead to the need to reconfigure the test site and retesting. Besides possible safety issues, questionable test data, and schedule delays, downtime becomes extremely costly due to idle aircraft, equipment, and support resources while the test site is brought up to the correct configuration.
NAWC, Lakehurst uses a high level certification and documentation process to ensure proper test site equipment configuration. At all times, the site configuration baseline is known. Only authorized changes can be made to the baseline which are tracked through a formal checkout procedure to ensure they are documented in the new baseline. The test site can only be used for aircraft tests upon completion of the Certification of Equipment Readiness.
The Test Site Equipment Certification process eliminates the uncertainty of test site configurations. The process also avoids high costs by reducing the occurrence of lost test time and idle aircraft.
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