AEDC breaks new ground in improvements to U.S. long-range strike capabilities
By Philip Lorenz III
/ Published May 11, 2007
Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. --
Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) "flew" the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) on the F-15E Strike Eagle for the first time during a test that concluded in September.
The one-of-a-kind test in AEDC's four-foot transonic wind tunnel provided direct support to the Air Force's ability to conduct long-range strike operations - a nationally significant mission capability and helps equip the F-15E Strike Eagle with another warfighting tool.
The test evaluated the separation characterizations of the JASSM from the aircraft.
"This was the first time we put the JASSM on the F-15E," said Kevin Dunworth, an Air Force Seek Eagle Office test engineer working on the project. "We wanted to get the necessary data for us to combine with our simulation work to ultimately plan a flight test. This store separation test helped us determine what part of the desired flight envelope the JASSM can safely and acceptably separate from the aircraft."
It's not easy to do, one engineer said.
"The JASSM is a very complex store, and what we tried to do is make sure it can separate from the aircraft without having any contact with adjacent stores or contact with the aircraft model," said Mickey Kiber, an Aerospace Testing Alliance project engineer. "There is a six-degree-of-freedom balance inside the JASSM model, and we measure the aerodynamics generated by the F-15E flow field as imposed on the JASSM model itself.
The JASSM model has five different configurations that we'll put in that flow field to measure - and these different models simulated wings deploying, tail deploying and so forth. Then we got three different stations that we did that on the F-15 model."
JASSM is an autonomous, long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile for the U.S. Air Force and Navy, according to information from Lockheed Martin's Web site. JASSM is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets. The missile's significant standoff range keeps Air Force and Navy aircrews well out of danger from hostile air defense systems. The missile's mission effectiveness approaches single-missile target kill capability.