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AEDC Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch validates, advances testing

Annette Painter, an instrument technician specialist and AEDC Fellow, watches the image from a microscope projected on a screen as she wraps .002 in. wire around a wafer while demonstrating the making of a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge Jan. 15, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Annette Painter, an instrument technician specialist and AEDC Fellow, watches the image from a microscope projected on a screen as she wraps .002 in. wire around a wafer while demonstrating the making of a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge Jan. 15, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, demonstrates the use of a machine to calibrate Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauges Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, demonstrates the use of a machine to calibrate Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauges Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauges sit in a calibration machine Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauges sit in a calibration machine Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, connects wires from a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge to a machine used to calibrate the gauges Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, connects wires from a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge to a machine used to calibrate the gauges Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, connects wires from a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge to a machine used to calibrate the gauges Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, connects wires from a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge to a machine used to calibrate the gauges Jan. 15, 2020, in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, operates the Arc Lamp System in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory Jan. 15, 2020, while demonstrating the use of the machine to provide heat to a test cone for use at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, operates the Arc Lamp System in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory Jan. 15, 2020, while demonstrating the use of the machine to provide heat to a test cone for use at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, places a test cone, used in Arnold Engineering Development Complex arc heated test facilities to characterize flow, into an Arc Lamp System in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory Jan. 15, 2020, while demonstrating the use of the machine at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The machine provides heat to the cone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Brian Anderson, an instrumentation specialist, places a test cone, used in Arnold Engineering Development Complex arc heated test facilities to characterize flow, into an Arc Lamp System in the Aerothermal Calibration Laboratory Jan. 15, 2020, while demonstrating the use of the machine at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The machine provides heat to the cone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

A Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge sits on a bench in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., Jan. 15, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

A Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge sits on a bench in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., Jan. 15, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Annette Painter, an instrument technician specialist and AEDC Fellow, watches the image from a microscope projected on a screen as she wraps .002 in. wire around a wafer while demonstrating the making of a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge Jan. 15, 2002, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Annette Painter, an instrument technician specialist and AEDC Fellow, watches the image from a microscope projected on a screen as she wraps .002 in. wire around a wafer while demonstrating the making of a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge Jan. 15, 2002, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Annette Painter, an instrument technician specialist and AEDC Fellow, wraps .002 in. wire around a wafer as she demonstrates the making of a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge Jan. 15, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Annette Painter, an instrument technician specialist and AEDC Fellow, wraps .002 in. wire around a wafer as she demonstrates the making of a Schmidt-Boelter heat flux gauge Jan. 15, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch's Aerothermal Measurements Lab at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Evan Milligan, a journeyman wireman, connects cables to a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Evan Milligan, a journeyman wireman, connects cables to a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Evan Milligan, a journeyman wireman, connects cables to a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Evan Milligan, a journeyman wireman, connects cables to a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Evan Milligan, a journeyman wireman, connects cables to a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Evan Milligan, a journeyman wireman, connects cables to a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Ron Wood, an instrument technician, uses an oscilloscope Jan. 13, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch Electronics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The oscilloscope measures the changing voltage of an electrical signal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Ron Wood, an instrument technician, uses an oscilloscope Jan. 13, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch Electronics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The oscilloscope measures the changing voltage of an electrical signal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Ron Wood, an instrument technician, uses an oscilloscope Jan. 13, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch Electronics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The oscilloscope measures the changing voltage of an electrical signal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Ron Wood, an instrument technician, uses an oscilloscope Jan. 13, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch Electronics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The oscilloscope measures the changing voltage of an electrical signal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Ron Wood, an instrument technician, uses an oscilloscope Jan. 13, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch Electronics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The oscilloscope measures the changing voltage of an electrical signal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Ron Wood, an instrument technician, uses an oscilloscope Jan. 13, 2020, in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch Electronics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The oscilloscope measures the changing voltage of an electrical signal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

A pulse laser ionizes air Jan. 13, 2020, in the Laser Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch develops measurement and diagnostic techniques utilizing the lasers in the lab that can then be fielded in AEDC test cells.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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A pulse laser ionizes air Jan. 13, 2020, in the Laser Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch develops measurement and diagnostic techniques utilizing the lasers in the lab that can then be fielded in AEDC test cells. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

A continuous wave laser burns a hole into a sample Jan. 13, 2020, in the Laser Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch develops measurement and diagnostic techniques utilizing the lasers in the lab that can then be fielded in AEDC test cells. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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A continuous wave laser burns a hole into a sample Jan. 13, 2020, in the Laser Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch develops measurement and diagnostic techniques utilizing the lasers in the lab that can then be fielded in AEDC test cells. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Dr. David Plemmons, left, a senior scientist with the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), speaks about the use of a continuous wave laser Jan. 13, 2020, in the Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch’s Laser Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Branch develops measurement and diagnostic techniques utilizing the lasers in the lab that can then be fielded in AEDC test cells.  Also pictured are Dr. Joe Wehrmeyer, center, technical advisor to the Technology Section of the Branch, and Joe Braker, an optical engineer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Dr. David Plemmons, left, a senior scientist with the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), speaks about the use of a continuous wave laser Jan. 13, 2020, in the Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch’s Laser Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Branch develops measurement and diagnostic techniques utilizing the lasers in the lab that can then be fielded in AEDC test cells. Also pictured are Dr. Joe Wehrmeyer, center, technical advisor to the Technology Section of the Branch, and Joe Braker, an optical engineer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Telescopes, wrapped for shipping, sit on a table in the Optics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., Jan. 13, 2020. The telescopes are part of Joint Standard Instrumentation Suite and mount to the platforms in the background. The equipment is in the Optics Laboratory for further development by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Telescopes, wrapped for shipping, sit on a table in the Optics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., Jan. 13, 2020. The telescopes are part of Joint Standard Instrumentation Suite and mount to the platforms in the background. The equipment is in the Optics Laboratory for further development by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Dr. Joe Wehrmeyer, technical advisor for the Technology Section of Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch, shows how a Joint Standard Instrumentation Suite platform can make complex movements to track a missile in flight Jan. 13, 2020, in the Optics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. Equipment mounted to the platform captures data during missile testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Dr. Joe Wehrmeyer, technical advisor for the Technology Section of Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch, shows how a Joint Standard Instrumentation Suite platform can make complex movements to track a missile in flight Jan. 13, 2020, in the Optics Laboratory at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. Equipment mounted to the platform captures data during missile testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Stan Freeze, outside machinist, inspects the tail of a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.  The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Stan Freeze, outside machinist, inspects the tail of a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Stan Freeze, an outside machinist, inspects the tail of a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.  The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Stan Freeze, an outside machinist, inspects the tail of a F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Stan Freeze, an outside machinist, removes a plug from a borescope inspection port on an F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.  The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Stan Freeze, an outside machinist, removes a plug from a borescope inspection port on an F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Stan Freeze, an outside machinist, removes a plug from a borescope inspection port on an F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.  The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)
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Stan Freeze, an outside machinist, removes a plug from a borescope inspection port on an F404 engine Jan. 10, 2020, in a sea level test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The engine is being prepared for use as a testbed by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. --

The Test Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch, or TSTA, helps execute the mission of Arnold Engineering Development Complex by providing understanding of where test facilities and articles stand today and helping develop where they can go tomorrow.

The Branch, part of the Test Operations Division, located at Arnold Air Force Base, serves AEDC in two key areas – technology and analysis.

“In TSTA, we have some of the best and brightest minds of AEDC tackling our toughest problems in order to provide analysis and evaluation to our National Defense partners, and improving the way we test for the future, so we can truly be second to none,” said Brandon Lucy, chief of TSTA.

TSTA is comprised of a Technology Section, and four Analysis Sections that are embedded with the Aeropropulsion Ground Test Branch, High Speed Systems Test Technology Branch, Propulsion Wind Tunnel Test Branch, and Space and Missile Test Branch. It is the largest branch by government personnel within the Test Operations Division, and also teams with support contractors.

“Our analysts are at the tip of the spear for the work that we do,” Lucy said. “They are the ones providing insights and reports that are the culmination of AEDC efforts back to the National Defense partners that we work with in our test facilities.”

The Analysis Sections provide a value-added product to customers.

“AEDC no longer provides just data to a customer,” said Ben Mills, technical advisor for the Analysis Sections. “We try to answer certain questions: Are we doing the right types of tests? Are we building the right models to get the data that we need? Did we find and collect the data to answer the questions? Did we do it with enough statistical rigor that we can give a verified and validated answer?”

These efforts are crucial to weapons systems development.

“Our subject matter expertise covers a broad range of the acquisition process for our weapons systems,” Mills said. “It includes everything from analysis of alternatives to concept refinement to operations and the lifecycle management of the weapons program.”

Through a working relationship with the test branches and program offices both the Analysis Sections and the Technology Section are able to prepare for the future.

“By working with the program offices, we also better understand the next generation of weapons systems and what is needed,” Mills said. “We can then incorporate that into our Technology Section projects to develop the new techniques and methods to enable us to test the new weapons systems coming in.”

The Technology Section performs work focused on three primary disciplines: Modeling and Simulation, Instrumentation and Diagnostics, and Facility and Testing Technology.

“We work on diverse projects, ranging from the development and application of new modeling and simulation software to the application of new optical techniques that nonintrusively measure flow properties in wind tunnels, in engine test cells and in the engines themselves,” said Dr. Joe Wehrmeyer, technical advisor for the Technology Section.

The efforts of this section also include expanding test facility capabilities and optimizing operations.

“Our team analyzes and models AEDC test facilities to understand how they will operate when used for new types of tests, and to recommend ways to operate them to reduce energy consumption,” Wehrmeyer said.