A Collaborative International Approach to Store Separation
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND PATUXENT RIVER MD
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In 2005, in support of Northrop Grummans efforts to market the Litening pod to the Australian and Canadian governments for use on their FA-18ABCD aircraft, Northrop Grumman contracted Naval Air Systems Command to support flight certification of the Litening pod and the associated pylon mounting system on station 4. The goal was to clear the GBU-12, GBU-38, MK-84, Dual AIM-120s, and FPU-8 fuel tank adjacent to a Litening pod on station 4 to the present TACMAN limits with an adjacent advanced targeting forward looking infrared. Before the Litening pod effort, the Navy had two choices to clear new aircraftstore configurations wind tunnel test or the build up approach also known as hit or miss method. Both of these methods had serious limitations. Wind tunnel testing required at least 6 months of lead-time and a minimum of 500K. The build up approach consisted of increasing the release airspeed until the store came uncomfortably close to hitting the aircraft adjacent stores. However, for quick turnaround, it was the only choice. This approach was not only very costly, but in some cases might have required a flight clearance recommendation that was too conservative. During the same time frame, the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program office funded a joint U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy Institute for High Performance Computing Applications to Air Armament. The Institute provided the Navy with the capability of using computational fluid dynamics to provide flight clearance recommendations for the Litening pod in a timely and cost effective fashion.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods