EMALS & JPALS for the JSF

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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spazsinbad

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Unread post08 Feb 2020, 07:47

Yep 'pedantic' I am. DOT&E reports are 'old' news already discussed here but good to be reminded of old news I guess.
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Unread post08 Feb 2020, 08:03

Harrier XW175 Research Aircraft and the VAAC Programme
Dec 2011 BAHG [Bedford Aeronautical Heritage Group] Newsletter Issue 2, Dec 2011

XW175, a second development batch T2 two-seat aircraft, first flew in 1969 and was delivered to RAE Bedford in February 1975. It is a unique aircraft in that it spent most of its operating life in support of VSTOL research. In the early 1970’s RAE Bedford was tasked by MoD with a work package to enable Sea Harriers to recover to a vertical landing on a ship at night in poor visibility. XW175 was allocated as the trials aircraft and thus began its illustrious 38 year research career at RAE Bedford and then at QinetiQ Boscombe Down. During 1977/78 two sea trials were completed with HMS Hermes. The research programmes included recovery using MADGE guidance, VSTOL Head Up Display symbology, ski-jump launch, auto-stabiliser and autopilot development and FLIR demonstrations.

In the early 1980’s, studies into advanced VSTOL aircraft concepts suggested that control at low speed and hover could be more complex than with the Harrier. The need for research into novel control methods led to XW175 being adapted for one pilot to have fly-by-wire control, when it became the Vectored thrust Aircraft Advanced Control (VAAC) Harrier, a unique UK VSTOL research vehicle.

Over the period 1986-2004, several 2-inceptor control concepts were progressively developed, first with simulation and then, from 1990, with extensive flight trials in the aircraft, including the first ever deck landing with unified control (HMS Illustrious, Sept 1998). In 2002 this Bedford ‘Unified’ control concept, having been shown to demand minimal pilot workload while maximising safety, was selected for the STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (Lockheed Martin F-35B). Several ship trials with HMS Illustrious and HMS Invincible were completed up to 2008 to further support JSF and to demonstrate the capability to UK and US pilots. These trials included automatic recovery and automatic vertical landing to a ship at sea, some 30 years after the original HMS Hermes trials with XW175 in 1977. Having conducted its last research sortie on 18 Nov 2008, with QinetiQ at Boscombe Down, XW175’s final resting place is now to be resolved. BAHG has expressed strong interest in bringing the aircraft back to Bedford. Major museums, such as the RAF Museum, are also making bids.”

Source: http://www.bahg.org.uk/documents/BAHG%2 ... er%202.pdf (330Kb)
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Unread post08 Feb 2020, 08:19

13 page PDF cited on previous page attached below.
Performance of Integrity Monitoring Techniques for Shipboard Relative GPS Landing Systems 13-16 Sep 2005

No longer at: http://www.beidoudb.com:88/document/upl ... 5562a9.pdf
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Integrity GPS Monitoring AUTO LAND efd72499-87a4-4f71-874f-36a5b95562a9.pdf
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Unread post08 Feb 2020, 15:01

Remarkable stuff...and it was 15 years ago. :salute:

Notably, touchdown dispersion for manual landings was mostly longitudinal while the auto landings deviated laterally; pretty consistent w/ what I would expect for the manual landings given typical visual references. Though to my knowledge they don’t track such things, I would bet that the CEP about the designated landing spot for current F-35B ops (all manual, of course) is very similar or better than what the VAAC Harrier achieved in auto mode. Such is the progress of technology.
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Unread post08 Feb 2020, 19:51

Just for perspective, here's the aircraft that flew the first ILS in 1938 (Boeing 247)....not coupled up, but manually....in a snowstorm. :shock:

And the aircraft that flew the first LAAS tests (unencrypted JPALS equivalent without differential GPS) in the early 90s, 25 years ago, also manually, also Boeing.

Of course neither of these could takeoff or land vertically on a boat, in fact taking off or landing horizontally on a runway in bad wx was generally somewhat of a challenge. :D
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Unread post08 Feb 2020, 23:00

From the attached PDF source about VAAC Harrier AUTO-LAND Testing...
"...The performance of the entire Autoland system can be estimated using the touchdown dispersion. The postprocessed location of the aircraft reference point with respect to the ship touchdown point can be calculated and is shown in Figure 9. The solid blue line shows the limit of the desired system touchdown position – 3ft laterally and 5ft longitudinally. The dashed blue line shows the limit of acceptable system touchdown position – 6ft laterally and 10ft longitudinally. Each of the coloured marks shows a recorded touchdown location. These are distinguished in terms of whether the autopilot was engaged for the approach. Thus ‘Auto’ approaches have the aircraft under fully automatic control, and ‘Manual’ approaches have the evaluation pilot following HUD directors generated from the Autoland system. It can be seen that all the ‘Auto’ approaches ended in a landing within the acceptable limits and all but three ended in a landing within the desired limits...." Performance of Integrity Monitoring Techniques for Shipboard Relative GPS Landing Systems 2005
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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 01:52

Carrier Ford completes aircraft compatibility testing
05 Feb 2020 Michael Fabey

"Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) finished Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT), the US Navy (USN) confirmed on 5 February. Ford completed ACT on 31 January after launching and recovering 211 aircraft at sea, testing five different airframes of the Ford airwing with the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) - two Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) systems unique to Ford-class carriers.

Ford ACT included the following aircraft: T-45 Goshawk; E/A-18G Growler; E-2D Advanced Hawkeye; C-2A Greyhound; and F/A-18F Super Hornets.

Aircraft were launched and recovered in different environmental conditions and sea states, and with varying aircraft weights - from heavy aircraft in light wind conditions to light aircraft in heavy wind conditions. The ACT is the second and final round of testing on Ford at this stage, which validated the ship's capability to launch and to recover aircraft with ordnance loadout and fuel states similar to those needed for deployment requirements and operating tempos."

Source: https://www.janes.com/article/94136/car ... ty-testing
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 07:34

Talking about F-35B AUTO LAND (of all things) this report was poohpoohed at the time and perhaps rightly so but FUD!
Just Push ‘Auto-Land’
April 2011 John A. Tirpak

“A Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff & vertical landing test aircraft last week achieved an impressive milestone, according to Warren Boley, Pratt & Whitney military engines president. “For the first time,” Boley said in an interview, “a pilot pushed a button & the [air]plane landed autonomously.” [I guess there was no AUTO APPROACH involved eh]

Boley joked that the pilot could fold his hands behind his head or ‘read the paper’ while the airplane safely settled down to a vertical landing from hover. The flight was the 74th vertical landing of the F-35 test program, & the fact that the Marine Corps was willing to allow the test indicated high confidence in the airplane & its Pratt-supplied F135 engine, Boley told the Daily Report April 8.”

Source: http://www.airforce-magazine.com/DRArch ... -Land.aspx
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Unread post12 Feb 2020, 05:18

EMALS, AAG Systems OK’d for All Carrier Aircraft [Yeah But NO but Yeah BUT NO F-35Cs m'lud]
11 Feb 2020 Seapower Staff

"SAN DIEGO — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) have been cleared for shipboard launch and recovery of all currently deployed naval aircraft types aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

The Navy issued Aircraft Launch Bulletins (ALB) and Aircraft Recovery Bulletins (ARB) that identify the weights and engaging speeds authorized for shipboard aircraft launch and recovery, and signal EMALS and AAG are operationally safe for use aboard the Ford. On Jan. 31, the carrier completed at-sea aircraft compatibility testing (ACT) utilizing a range of aircraft, including F/A-18E/F, E-2D, C-2A, EA-18G, and T-45C, to prove EMALS and AAG can accommodate the air wing aircraft.

“EMALS and AAG can launch and recover the current air wing and any future aircraft, to provide greater flexibility than the legacy systems aboard Nimitz-class carriers,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “The Navy is expecting flight-deck certification to take place in the coming months and will conduct a steady stream of cats and traps this year — we’re talking in the thousands — to move the ship closer to full mission capability and capacity.”..."

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/emals-aag- ... -aircraft/
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Unread post07 Mar 2020, 03:32

One day the UK & Italy will catch up with JPALS so meanwhile....
Webster hosts UK, Italian sailors for landing system training
06 Mar 2020 NavAir

"NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIVISION, WEBSTER OUTLYING FIELD, Md. --As the F-35B is set for its debut aboard Italy’s and the United Kingdom’s aircraft carriers, sailors from both navies spent the last month learning how to maintain the ships’ instrument carrier landing system (ICLS), graduating Feb. 27 during a small ceremony at Webster Outlying Field.

“The Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems team at NAWCAD WOLF [Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Webster Outlying Field] are the recognized worldwide experts in developing, installing and maintaining shipboard landing systems,” said Capt. Kevin Watkins, Naval Air Traffic Management Systems (PMA-213) program manager. “These training classes allow us to pass that knowledge on to our international partners, strengthening our alliances and ensuring our warfighter and partner coalitions have the best capabilities in the world.”

Watkins joined NAWCAD WOLF leadership at the event to congratulate the group completing the three-week AN/SPN-41B technician training class: two Royal Navy sailors and one Italian navy warrant officer.

Following the graduation, Royal Navy Petty Officer Pete Ross, an aviation facilities maintainer responsible for landing aids such as the AN/SPN-41B, said thanks to the course and his instructor, Bill Brooks, he’s now more than confident to carry out his duties on the ship.

“I haven’t seen the system before so this is all new to me, but I’m quite confident I’ll be able to maintain the system,” he said. “So it shows that the training that’s being delivered here is appropriate.”

The AN/SPN-41B is one of two shipboard instrument landing systems compatible with the F-35B; JPALS is the other, but is not currently installed on either ship. These precision electronic approach and landing aids help pilots safely land by displaying the glide path and centerline information to the pilot while approaching the carrier.

The U.K.’s two Queen Elizabeth-class carriers and the Italian carrier ITS Cavour are designed for F-35B operations and will be equipped with the AN/SPN-41B. However, ICLS technician training is not yet available to foreign nationals at the U.S. Navy’s “A” School. To address the need, the program office and NAWCAD WOLF collaborated to develop a customized curriculum in 2016 comprising classroom and hands-on training on how to service and maintain the system. The first two groups to complete the course were Royal Navy sailors assigned to U.K.’s first-in-class HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2017. HMS Queen Elizabeth began flying the F-35B off its deck in late 2018 during developmental testing.

“The U.K. specifically has different options on their SPN-41B than what we have, so their training needs are different from what our Sailors receive at Navy “A” School,” said Barrett Straub, Air Traffic Control systems engineering branch head at NAWCAD WOLF. “This technician training shows how to conduct routine maintenance and repair failures.”

The U.K. and Italy operate the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant, which is the U.S. Marine Corps model scheduled to replace the AV-8B Harrier. The Pax River F-35 Integrated Test Force is scheduled to carry out developmental testing on ITS Cavour later this year and on HMS Prince of Wales in 2021 with its assigned F-35B flight test aircraft."

Source: https://www.navair.navy.mil/news/Webste ... 62020-0928
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Unread post25 Apr 2020, 13:58

General Atomics’ EMALS and AAG Support Successful Ford Flight Deck Certification
24 Apr 2020 Seapower Staff

"SAN DIEGO — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced April 23 that successful USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Flight Deck Certification (FDC) has been completed with the support of the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) and advanced arresting gear (AAG) system. The number of aircraft to have landed and taken off from CVN 78 now totals more than 2,000. CVN 78 used fleet squadrons from Carrier Air Wing Eight, as well as pilots from Strike Fighter Squadron 106 and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 to obtain hundreds of sorties over a two-week period with all arrested landings and catapult launches completed safely.

“We continue to see EMALS and AAG perform according to specifications to execute cats and traps with the objective of reaching the robust evolution rates necessary for combat,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We are working closely with the Navy and CVN 78 crew to ensure operational performance is achieved. We remain extremely proud of our team, the squadrons’ pilots and the ship’s crew for all their hard work and dedication and look forward to continuing success as CVN 78 undergoes these continued at sea periods.”

FDC is a qualification of the ship’s various aviation systems and includes the crews’ qualification to operate the numerous systems. FDC was completed March 20 following day and night launch and recovery exercises with F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. FDC is intended to qualify and prove ship and crew capabilities under operational conditions that can occur while on deployment...."

Photo: "An F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) during flight operations, March 28, 2020. Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualifications. U.S. NAVY / Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Sawyer Connally" https://seapowermagazine.org/wp-content ... 4x576.jpeg (51Kb)


Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/general-at ... ification/
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Unread post18 May 2020, 06:17

Navy achieves landing system certification, FMS installs despite pandemic restrictions [JPALS now AN/USN-3]
14 May 2020 NavAir

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.--The Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213) completed precision approach and landing system (PALS) certification on USS Essex (LHD 2) in April and began installation of two landing systems aboard the Italian Navy ship, ITS Cavour, despite restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic....

...After achieving first flight day confirmations for three USS Essex PALS systems: the AN/SPN-35 Precision Approach Landing System (PALS), the AN/SPN-41 Instrument Carrier Landing System (ICLS), and the AN/USN-3 Joint Precision and Approach Landing Systems (JPALS), teams from Naval Air Warfare Center Webster Outlying Field (NAWCAD WOLF) Atlantic Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems (ATC&LS), Naval Test Wing ATC&LS Test, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 were able to align the systems to support the warfighter.

“Due to the complex nature of the systems, it is a rare occasion when a system does not need adjustment between flights; this time we had rose to the challenge and had all three [PALS systems] ready on the first day,” said Hair. “Their efforts have ensured a U.S. Navy capital ship’s PALS capability is available to support their primary mission as the flagship of an Amphibious Ready Group.”

PMA-213 International Landing System (ILS) and NAWCAD WOLF teams have also been working diligently on a compressed schedule to install and to facilitate full capability of AN/USN-3 and AN/SPN-41 systems on ITS Cavour.

“The program schedule was threatened when COVID-19 travel restrictions were enacted,” said Casey Edinger, PMA-213 International Programs deputy program manager. “U.S. personnel typically provide onsite technical assistance and oversight for the installation of both systems. Since Italy was the European hotspot for the outbreak, the team was already preparing contingency plans when the DOD suspended all travel.”

With onsite technical assistance no longer advisable, the teams looked to provide remote technical assistance. PMA-213 along with NAWCAD WOLF and contract support service personnel created a first-of-a-its kind Virtual Install Technical Assistance Guide for the AN/USN-3 and the AN/SPN-41, which serves as a checklist for both U.S. and Foreign Military Sales shipyard installers.

“This critical time calls for a creative solution; therefore, this is the first Virtual Install Technical Assistance of an Aircraft Carrier Landing System on a foreign ship,” said Clay Smeal, PMA-213 Landing Systems deputy case manager. “This guide enables all installations to proceed on schedule.”

To ensure a successful install and subsequent PALS certification on ITS Cavour, PMA-213 holds daily communications with the ship to monitor progress and mitigate technical issues. This guide is currently in use for the ITS Cavour AN/USN-3 and AN/SPN-41 installs and may also be used for future installations on the United Kingdom’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, if COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place."

Source: https://www.navair.navy.mil/news/Navy-a ... ctions/Thu
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Unread post18 May 2020, 20:53

“Due to the complex nature of the systems, it is a rare occasion when a system does not need adjustment between flights; this time we had rose to the challenge and had all three [PALS systems] ready on the first day,” said Hair.


The bold (my emphasis) is kinda 'Hair raising'.

But be that as it may, why does the boat need three different precision approach landing systems?

I'm so confused. :doh:

edit: and I think it's 'had risen' not 'had rose', I've had Rose. :D
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Unread post18 May 2020, 21:43

OKay RosieTheRiveter the article is rite on poorly written. First read a few days ago and I just thought it was about PALS not realising the AN/USN-3 was JwtfPALS. One may find better written examples of PALS/JPALS VX-23 pilot testing systems all over with their Hornets in the forum various here. Yes Virginia they even test LHA PALS systems with their Hornets, waving off close to the deck pray tell. So the PALS system needs correction regularly; but 'adjusted between flights'? not sure how that is done. Perhaps there is a tweakin' KNOB that can be turned up to ELEVEN. Dunno.

The JPALS AN/USN-3 is the standalone wunnerful system as we know and luv for the F-35B, no other aircraft will have it. PALS is for the also runneth Hairiers and others along with the ICLS. HoKay? Rosé?

Lastly if not firstly an 188 page 11Mb PDF tome referencing da systems in question but reprinted PRN so no URLs work etc.

2005 NATO GRAPHIC: http://ftp.rta.nato.int/public//PubFull ... 162-07.pdf
STRIKE TEST NEWS Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 Newsletter 2013 Issue
[produced 11 Oct 2013] VX-23

“...SHIP SUITABILITY PROJECT TEAM – LCDR Thomas “Ub” Kneale, Department Head
...We have three basic responsibilities here at Ship Suitability: Precision Approach and Landing Systems (PALS); Shake, Rattle, and Roll (SRR) or “shakes;” and new ship systems. This year we’ve been heavily in-volved in all three. PALS certification is our bread & butter, and we perform it on aircraft carriers & L-Class ships at regular intervals and as required if performance starts to degrade. You can think of it as an FAA flight check for ship landing systems, except that the aircrew wear sunglasses more often, and we actually help to fix issues that might exist rather than just clobber the airspace at random and disappear. “Shakes” are the testing we do to the limit of shipboard conditions (maximum off-center arrestment, maximum sink rate arrestment, etc.) for new aircraft systems in order to certify them for shipboard use. This is challenging and rewarding flight test, which takes us right to the edge of the aircraft and launch and recovery system limits. Finally, new ship systems include projects like the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS). These are exciting new technologies which will forever change carrier aviation...."

Source: http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad/index ... oad&id=767
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PALS & JPALS + Precision Approaches 19may2020 PRN pp188.pdf
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Unread post19 May 2020, 02:23

This article from 2012 by a VX-23 test pilot tells the story Hornet Approach to LHA (also in the above PDF page 31 of 188).
L-CLASS PRECISION APPROACH AND LANDING SYSTEM (PALS) CERTIFICATION
Feb 2012 Paddles Monthly; LT Matt “Brasso” Davin VX-23 Ship Suitability

"Carrier suitability testing frequently involves “unconventional” flying, which is certainly the case for certifying amphibious assault ships (LHA and LHD classes). These ships have a Precision Approach and Landing System (PALS) similar to those currently found on any aircraft carrier (CVN), and require similar certification every two years. As VX-23 does not fly the Harrier, we perform these certifications using the F/A-18. L-Class ships have a TACAN and SPN-41 Instrument Carrier Landing System (ICLS), similar to the systems found on a CVN. Instead of a SPN-46 Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS) however, they have a SPN-35 which provides a precision approach capability. They also have an optical lens which appears similar to the lens found on a CVN, but it’s located on the starboard side of the ship and on the back side of the island. Instead of a marked centerline in the landing area, they have a “tramline” which pilots use to reference their lateral position.

The goal of an L-Class PALS certification is to verify that the SPN-35, SPN-41 and lens agree, and that they get the pilot safely to the point where he can take over and land visually. In this respect it’s similar to a Mode II certification of an aircraft carrier. Obviously the F/A-18 isn’t designed to touch down on an L-Class, so all of the approaches are terminated no later than 200 feet. The pattern is similar to that used for CVN certification , essentially the Case III pattern with a higher airspeed on downwind. The pilot flies the ICLS needles while cross-checking and reporting TACAN range and radar altitude on the radio. Simultaneously test engineers onboard the ship monitor the SPN- 35 to ensure that it matches what the pilot is reporting. Technicians are capable of making near real time adjustments if errors in the system are detected.

Flying a low approach to a straight-deck boat is an interesting experience. Since there is no possibility of touch-down, approaches are generally flown with the landing gear up to conserve fuel. The urge to fly to the right of the wake and make the sight picture look like a CVN is almost irresistible. The location of the lens on the starboard side of the ship also contributes to the tendency to drift right. Combine all these factors and add in the requirement to fly an on-and-on approach while simultaneously reporting range and altitude data on the radio, and this quickly becomes a challenging task.

To all those who get to enjoy their ’rats on an L-Class, while we don’t get to interact with you as much as with CVN pilots, we at VX-23 are dedicated to ensuring that you have the most accurate and reliable landing aids possible. Please let us know if you have any concerns with your ship’s systems. While the L-Class PALS certification may not help us increase our trap count, it is challenging and rewarding flying, and an important part of VX-23’s service to the fleet."

Source: http://www.hrana.org/documents/PaddlesM ... ry2012.pdf [no longer available but page in PDF as noted]
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