Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Weapon Separation Analysis
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis has developed an integrated trajectory analysis software tool to model and simulate the path of weapons as they are released from the aircraft. This tool was developed to streamline the analysis process and to incorporate three-dimensional graphical visualization.
The original analytical methods required the development of an initial compatibility risk assessment based on MIL- STD-1763A, study results, lessons learned, experience, and existing data. Wind tunnel and flight test plans were developed based on the initial compatibility risk assessment. The wind tunnel test plan included freestream, loads, flowfield, and trajectory. Actual flight tests were used to validate the database information. The wind tunnel tests were conducted, and a database was generated. The data and analysis were then sent to the customer, and based on the trajectory predictions, the flight test plans were refined and flight tests conducted.
The streamlining of this analytical process included reducing the number of file inputs, outputs, and file conversions; adding miss distance calculations for stores with movable sub-parts; eliminating standalone programs; and customizing the software. The three-dimensional graphical visualization included validating the miss distance geometry set-up, performing miss distance diagnostics, visualizing wind tunnel trajectories, visualizing flight test photometric trajectories, presentations to management and customers, and pilot briefings during the flight test program. These completed tools have been successfully implemented, resulting in lower risks associated with separation programs, and the number of flight test demonstrations required have decreased. The visual representation output of the system provides the means of visually describing the trajectory of the weapon as it is released and highlighting any problems.
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